See Encampment website HERE.
What is the Franklin Hiawatha encampment?
This is a gathering of homeless Minneapolis residents, primarily of Native American descent. Some have jobs while some are unemployed. All lack access to shelter or affordable housing due to lack of shelter beds, lack of affordable housing, lack of a job, and other reasons.
What happens when winter comes? Will the camp be there forever?
The City and other agencies plan to transition the residents at the encampment to temporary transitional housing, shelter, or more permanent housing by September 30, 2018. The encampment along Franklin and Hiawatha will not be allowed to continue with winter setting in. Safety and public health reasons make it imperative that we find other lodging for residents.
Who is trying to help the residents find shelter/housing?
The Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors – a group representing the leadership of Native-led non-profits and businesses – have taken the lead on trying to find short, mid and long term solutions that will benefit the residents of the encampment. Short term we are trying to provide a secure environment, meals, and medical care as needed. Mid term we are tying to find temporary shelter. Long term MUID is trying to provide services and assistance including permanent housing, job training and more. The City of Minneapolis and other agencies have been partnering with MUID in this work.
Will going to the encampment increase my chances of getting permanent low income housing?
This is a rumor that has been going around. If you are currently in a shelter please remain there. Residents at the encampment will not be moved ahead of existing waiting lists for shelter or low income housing.
What are those bright lights at the encampment?
The lights have been provided for safety reasons.
Is it safe at the camp?
Living without shelter can be dangerous in and of itself, and homeless people are a vulnerable population. However the residents of the camp came together because they feel safer – the adage that there is safety in numbers is very true here. Natives Against Heroin volunteers are always on-site helping to organize, serve food and assist with questions and basic needs. The Minneapolis Police patrol regularly and lights have been placed on site to provide some illumination during night-time hours.
How can I help?
Making a cash donation is the most helpful, but there are other ways to help. Please see the How To Help, Donation and Volunteer pages on this site for more information.