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Park Board takes no action on limiting homeless encampments

The resolution would have limited homeless encampments in Minneapolis to 10 tents.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board voted not to take action on an item that would break up a large homeless encampment in Powderhorn Park.

The city previously voted on a resolution that allowed public parks to be used as places of refuge for those experiencing homelessness. Wednesday’s resolution would have ended that decision on Sept. 1 and limit homeless encampments in the city to 10 parks with no more than 10 tents each.

After a midtown hotel used to shelter people experiencing homelessness was cleared out, hundreds sought shelter at Powderhorn Park. There are currently between 400 and 600 people taking shelter in the park, according to the resolution.

In total, the city estimates encampments have been established at around 30 parks. 

The board voted 5-4 Wednesday to remove the resolution from the agenda after a motion from Commissioner Londel French.

Commissioner Jono Cowgill voted against removing the resolution. On Twitter, Cowgill has voiced his support reducing the size of encampments, calling the size unsustainable.

According to meeting materials, the current size and setup of the encampment does not meet COVID-19 public health guidelines. The optimal number of tents is 10, officials found. 

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