• Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment

    Wall of Forgotten Natives

    The new Minneapolis NAVIGATION CENTER is open!

    Our efforts have turned to helping remaining camp residents move into the Navigation Center or other housing or shelter.

     

    NO DONATIONS OF ANY KIND ACCEPTED AT THE WARMING TENT AFTER SUN DEC 16.

     

    TO VOLUNTEER AT THE NAVIGATION CENTER

    CLICK HERE.

     

    THE NAVIGATION CENTER IS NOT ACCEPTING DONATIONS AT THIS TIME.

     

     

  • A brief history

    Minneapolis is built on Dakota land, and has long been home to a significant Native American Indian population. The Native people here are resourceful, resilient, and committed to our families, communities and cultures. Centuries of genocide and forced assimilation have created a range of challenges for 21st century American Indians. Native people make up a disproportionate number of the homeless population in Minneapolis. Causes of homelessness are related to economics, domestic violence, addiction, mental illness, and many other causes.

     

    In recent weeks many people joined together to create a safe encampment near the Franklin/Hiawatha corridor. This community is comprised primarily of Native people, many with significant housing challenges. A broad coalition of partners and stakeholders are coming together to address the short-term, mid-term and long-term barriers to housing for the residents of this camp. Working together, we hope to find housing for the camp’s residents by the end of September, and certainly before the weather turns cold.

     

    Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors (MUID) stands in solidarity with our community and partners and we are committed to dedicating our organization’s resources to support this effort. To read MUID's full statement on this issue, please click on MUID Statement above.

  • ABOUT THE NAVIGATION CENTER

    To learn more about the new Minneapolis Navigation Center at the City of Minneapolis website - visit THIS LINK.

    From our blog, see a list of frequently asked questions about the new Minneapolis Navigation Center below. To volunteer at the Center click here for more information.

     

    What is the Navigation Center and when will it open?

    The Center is a low barrier 24/7 access shelter designed for people living in the Franklin Hiawatha encampment. It will provide a calm, clean, safe environment with access to intensive support services. The Center opened on December 11, 2018.

     

    Who came up with the idea of the Navigation Center?

    The Navigation Center concept is being used in a variety of cities across the country who are experiencing large numbers of homeless residents. It is often considered an emergency or transitional solution - to house people as they wait for more traditional shelter, GRH or Section 8 housing, or other affordable housing options.

     

    What does ‘low barrier’ mean?

    It means that many of the barriers people face going to traditional shelters are eliminated or minimized. People can come with their pets, partners and (adult) family members, and can opt to sleep near one another. There will be ample storage for personal belongings. There will be a strong harm reduction orientation. The Center will be open 24/7 and will not have a curfew. People do not have to be sober. People who use drugs or alcohol will be welcome and will have access to different kinds of practical supports designed to help them stabilize and reduce the harms associated with substance use. Medication assisted treatment will be available on-site. Violence and highly disruptive behavior will not be tolerated, but other than that there are as few rules as possible. Families with minor children will not be housed at the Navigation Center, but other options are available for those with children.

     

    What are the sleeping areas like?

    The center will have three large heated tents that each have approximately 40 beds. Each bed will have a locking storage locker that fits underneath it. The tents will have a mixture of sleeping cots and gathering spaces with tables and chairs. The guests staying in the Center will have some freedom to design the placement of beds to create a livable and personalized space.

     

    What services will be there?

    The Center will be open 24/7 and have spaces for gathering in large and small groups, meals, showers, and close access to services. Livio, a mobile health care services provider, will be on-site providing health care; Native American Community Clinic will be on-site with a suboxone clinic, Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors group and other agencies will have staff on-site on a regular basis and Native healing practitioners will be available. Various other housing and service agencies will also be on-site regularly to serve the Center’s guests. The intention is to provide intensive support to people so they can stabilize, set self-determined goals for the future, and gain access to the kind of long term housing that best serves their needs.

     

    What will happen to the current encampment when the Navigation Center opens?

    Out of concern for the well being of the residents of the encampment, City and State officials have allowed the current camp to remain in place and have provided various supports to minimize public health and safety risks while the Navigation Center is being built. However the intention to close the current encampment once the Center opens has always been clear. How and when the closure will happen is still under consideration, but at some point the current encampment will close.

     

    How does a camp resident learn more about the Navigation Center and sign up for a bed there?

    There will be an information table for the Navigation Center at the Hygiene Service Area (HSA) across Franklin Avenue from the encampment. The information table will be available until Wednesday December 19th. The Navigation Center will be able to shelter 120 individuals and current camp residents are encouraged to visit the HSA tent and learn more.

  • Camp Blog

    Writings, photographs and news from our community.

    Below is a reflection from Grant Snyder, the Minneapolis Police Department's liaison to the city's homeless and vulnerable adult population. Sergeant Snyder has been a valued presence at the encampment (read more about that here) and is central to the effort to move camp residents to the new...
    Much has been happening over the past month at the Franklin Hiawatha encampment. Like all of life there is some good and some bad, but lately the more challenging developments have imperiled progress and made the work of caring for camp residents much more difficult. I write this post in part...
    After a fire at the Franklin Hiawatha encampment, Minneapolis Fire Department Chief John Fruetel became increasingly concerned about the health and safety of the people at the camp. He set about procuring a warming tent where camp residents could hang out, warm up, and enjoy a cup of coffee or...
    In a recent WCCO TV report unnamed city and county officials were quoted as saying: "City officials are urging people at the homeless camp to use county shelters for a warm, safe, place to sleep. They can also get a variety of medical resources there...They say bringing food or supplies to the...
    More Posts
  • NON-CASH DONATIONS

     

    NAVIGATION CENTER IS NOW OPEN!

    NO DONATIONS OF ANY KIND ACCEPTED AT WARMING TENT AFTER SUN DEC 16.

     

    NO DONATIONS OF ANY KIND ACCEPTED A NAVIGATION CENTER.

     

    CURRENTLY NEEDED:

    TARPS, TENTS, COLEMAN 1 LB PROPANE TANKS, SOCKS, UNDERWEAR, WINTER OUTERWEAR, AND BOOTS TO WARMING TENT - SEE BELOW.

     

    WOOD AND WATER SHOULD GO DIRECTLY

    TO THE ENCAMPMENT.

     

    Blankets, sleeping bags, tarps, tents (No clothing!)

    Deliver to MN Indian Women's Resource Center

    No clothing accepted. Deliveries accepted Monday through Wednesday 2:00 to 4:00 PM or by appointment. For an appt call Karen Joy at 612-728-2027.

     

    Deliver to MN Indian Women's Resource Center at 2300 S 15th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404.

     

     

    Non-perishable food items and water (No clothing)

    Deliver to Gichitwaa Kateri Catholic Church

    Non-perishable food items, bottled water and juice, are always needed. Please try to make healthy options available to our residents. No clothing accepted.

     

    Deliver to Gichitwaa Kateri Catholic Church at 3045 Park Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

    Tarps, tents, propane and other items listed above can also be delivered to the Warming Tent across the street from the camp. Entrance to parking lot is at the corner of 16th Ave So and 19th Street. Donations accepted until December 16. No donations accepted after that date!

     

    Personal Care Kits

    NOT NEEDED AT THIS TIME

     

  • Volunteer Information

    THE NEW NAVIGATION CENTER IS OPEN!

    HERE IS A VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY AT THE CENTER:

     

    Simpson Housing is looking for self-made groups of 3-4 volunteers to sign up to serve a meal about twice a month January through May. The time commitment would be 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm.

     

    Each volunteer would need to attend an orientation session prior to volunteering. The group members wouldn’t need to attend the same session together.

     

    Interested groups can sign up for an Orientation for Navigation Center Meal Service at: www.simpsonhousing.volunteerhub.com. Attending an orientation is the first step toward signing up to volunteer.

     

    The orientations for the Navigation Center meal service are on:

    • Thursday, 12/27, 3 pm – 5 pm
    • Thursday, 12/27, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
    • Saturday, 12/29, 10 a m- Noon
    • Wednesday, 1/2, 3 pm – 5 pm
    • Wednesday, 1/2, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

     

    A few important items to note:

    • The food is fully cooked and delivered to the Navigation Center. Volunteers would prepare the serving area, serve the meal, and tidy up after the meal.
    • Volunteers must be at least 18 years old.
    • Volunteers create their own group of 3-4 individuals to serve.
    • Each volunteer must attend an orientation session prior to volunteering.
    • Groups sign up to volunteer twice a month, or for 10 meals, Jan. through May.
    • At this time we do not have volunteer opportunities for individual volunteers, only for small groups.

    Encampment Meal service - NOT NEEDED AT THIS TIME

    Prepare a a hot meal or bag lunches for residents of the encampment. You'll be feeding 150+ so make sure you have the funds and the capacity to do this. Great for community and faith groups with access to commercial kitchens (tho cooking at your own home is fine too.) Email through the Contact page on this site for more information.

    Winterization Crew - NOT NEEDED AT THIS TIME.

    Sign up to help with effort to winterize the encampment - to keep our relatives safe and warm during the months of November and December. Most work will take place over a single weekend, to be announced - but very soon. To add your name to the list email us through the Contact page on this website. Please make sure to note in your email if you have any construction or other relevant skills!

    Organize a food drive - NOT NEEDED AT THIS TIME.

    Join with your friends, family, or other community members to collect non-perishable food, water and juice. Non-perishable food items should be taken to Gichitwaa Kateri Catholic Church at 3045 Park Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407. Call the Church for best drop off times, (612) 824-7606

    Camp clean-up - NOT NEEDED AT THIS TIME.

    Help camp residents and members of Natives Against Heroin clear trash from the encampment. Although residents keep the encampment largely free of garbage and other trash, we aim to schedule a 'deep clean' every week. Camp clean up is every Saturday 2:00 to 3:00 PM Email us through the Contact page to sign up to help.

    Create personal care kits - NOT NEEDED AT THIS TIME

    Create personal care kits for campers. Kits should be in individual zip lock bags and include tooth brush, toothpaste, comb, shampoo, hand towel, soap, fingernail clipper, deodorant, hand sanitizer. Please deliver to MN Indian Women's Resource Center at 2300 S 15th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404.

    Help sorting donations - NOT NEEDED AT THIS TIME.

    Help sort and package donation of clothes, etc. to be delivered to residents at the encampment. The activity will take place at MN Indian Women's Resource Center at 2300 S 15th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Email us through the Contact page to sign up to help.

  • How To Donate

    Here are some ways you can donate directly to the organizations that provide services for those seeking shelter, chemical dependency treatment, mental health services and more. These organizations are also working the City, County and other agencies on mid and long term solutions to the affordable housing and shelter crisis.

    Donate to MN Indian Womens Resource Center

    MIWRC will use the funds to provide families and individuals with basic clothes and household goods once housing is secured.

    MIWRC also provides a comprehensive array of services to women and families. To donate to MIWRC to benefit resident at the encampment CLICK HERE

    Donate to Native American Community Clinic

    NACC will use the funds to provide medical-related services to residents of the camp.

    NACC promotes the health & wellness of body, mind & spirit of Native American families. To learn more or to make a donation to support their work at the camp CLICK HERE

    Donate to Indigenous Peoples Task Force

    Your donation will be used for HIV, HCV and other testing/screening of residents at the camp.

    To learn more about IPTF and the services they offer - or make a donation - CLICK HERE

    Donate to American Indian Community Development Corporation

    Your donation will be used to secure permanent housing for residents of the camp.

    The American Indian Community Development Corporation's mission is to provide culturally unique initiatives, housing and entrepreneurial programs that will strengthen American Indian communities. To learn more CLICK HERE

    Donate to American Indian OIC

    Your donation will help provide job training and other resources to residents and others who need them.

    The mission of the American Indian OIC is to empower American Indians to pursue career opportunities by providing individualized education, training, and employment services in a culturally rich environment. To learn more or make a donation CLICK HERE

  • Metro Urban Indian Directors

    Representing Native American-led non-profits

    Click above to visit the MUID website.

    There you can find links to all of the MUID member organizations.

    MUID is a coalition of leadership of the region’s Native organizations. MUID membership represents a range of nonprofits including direct health services, education, housing, and economic development.

     

    Established over 40 years ago, MUID is partner with the groundbreaking Memo of Understanding with City of Minneapolis, which establishes a framework for the City’s engagement with the Native the community. MUID seeks to support the work of grassroots efforts like Natives Against Heroin (NAH), the public and private sector, and community in addressing solutions to homelessness in the Native and broader communities.

  • Complete MUID Statement on the Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment

    August 23, 2018

    Minneapolis is on Dakota Land in Mni Sota Makoce (Land where the water reflects the sky) and is now home to many Native people from across the state and across the country. The water, trees, and all living things growing out of the ground carry with them the spirit of the original Dakota inhabitants because this ground is quite literally saturated with the DNA of our Indigenous ancestors. These ancestors lived here for millennium before Minneapolis even became a City. This land continues to be sacred land for many of the Urban Native population.

     

    Despite hundreds of years of trauma and genocidal actions against us in this country, Native people are still here. We are resourceful, resilient, and committed to our community, families, and our cultures and traditions. However, we still face many challenges. Homelessness, chemical dependency, mental and physical health struggles, vulnerability to exploitation and violence are all byproducts of the generations of trauma experienced by our relatives. Though we are less than 2% of the population, we experience disproportionate rates of all these effects.

     

    In recent weeks many of our relatives have come together and moved into tents in the area along a soundwall on the east side of Highway 55. This community has become known as the Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment, or for some, the Wall of Forgotten Natives. Our community faces significant challenges to housing and many have been “forgotten” and erased by those systems that were set up to assist them. These relatives face many barriers to finding safe and affordable housing, which is a long-standing problem in Minneapolis. Housing shortages, rigid landlords, policies that create lifetime bans based on survival behaviors; these are just some of the things that affect these individuals and have created the environment for the Encampment.

     

    In response, a broad coalition of government, non profit, and community partners and stakeholders are coming together to address the short-term, mid-term and long-term barriers to housing for the residents of this camp, as well as those in other camps not so visible. Working together, we hope to find housing options for the camp’s population by the end of September, certainly before the weather turns cold.

     

    The Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors (MUID) is helping to coordinate this effort. MUID is a collation of leadership of Minneapolis Native organizations and urban Tribal offices and embassies. Membership represent a wide range of nonprofits including direct health services, education, housing, economic development, and more. Established over 40 years ago, MUID is a partner with the groundbreaking Memo of Understanding with City of Minneapolis, which establishes a framework for the City’s engagement with the Native community.

     

    MUID seeks to support and connect the tireless work of grassroots groups like Natives Against Heroin (NAH), the public and private sector organizations that have stepped forward to help, and the many individuals who seek to band together to create long term solutions to homelessness in the Native and broader communities. To do this we must build a sustainable, long-term, coordinated effort that acknowledges the indigenous history that frames this struggle.

     

    We invite all to join us in this work.

  • FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    Below are the answers to frequently asked questions about the camp. Note that this is an ever-changing situation. This page will be updated regularly.

    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 is a Navigation Center?

    You can learn more about the Navigation Center by visiting this post on the camp blog: "Learn About the Navigation Center"

    Now what's happening? November 23, 2018

    Plans continue to move forward for the creation of a 'Navigation Center' based on city staff research on best practices in other cities.

    The City Council has approved $1.5 million in funding for the temporary Navigation Center, which will be established at 2109 Cedar Ave., a 1.25-acre site adjacent to the Franklin Avenue METRO Blue Line station and close to the existing encampment. The center is scheduled to open in mid - December and be operational until the end of May.

     

    The Navigation Center will be placed on land owned by the Red Lake Band of Chippewa. This site is earmarked by Red Lake for construction of affordable housing to begin in the summer of 2019. The process of building the temporary structures has begin. The Navigation Center is scheduled to open in mid-December.

    What about winter, Part 2 (October 25, 2018)

    Due to the proposed mid-December opening date for the new Navigation Center, steps are being taken to protect the residents of the encampment from frostbite and hypothermia. Efforts to keep campers warm and safe are ongoing by MUID and a wide coalition of volunteers and other groups. They include providing sub-zero rated sleeping bags, providing warming tipis, tents and wigwams within the encampment, and providing a large warming tent where meals are served. Long underwear and other winter wear, including coats, hats, mittens, etc. are continually distributed.

    Now what's happening?!? October 17, 2018

    Plans continue to move forward for the creation of a 'Navigation Center' based on city research on best practices in other cities. After offering two potential sites for a Navigation Center that were not ideal - and met with considerable community push back - the Minneapolis City Council deferred a vote on a site. The next day the Red Lake Band of Chippewa offered the use of a parcel of land they own. The land is earmarked for construction of affordable housing with a ground breaking scheduled for next summer. Therefore any Navigation Center constructed there would be temporary. The parcel is conveniently located across Hiawatha from the current encampment. However environmental testing and the demolition of the existing structures must occur before a temporary Navigation Center can be built. As of October 17, 2018, the buildings were still standing. The timeline for the construction of the Navigation Center remains in flux.

    What about winter? Part 1

    Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey had originally pledged to house the residents of the encampment by September 30th. That deadline has passed. The approximate date for the new, temporary Navigation Center to be ready for occupancy is mid-December. The Red Lake Nation has stepped forward with plans to winterize the encampment at its current location - until residents have found shelter or housing, or are moved to the new Navigation Center. NOTE: The Red Lake Band is no longer leading the effort to winterize the encampment. Efforts to keep campers warm and safe are ongoing by MUID and a wide coalition of volunteers and other groups. They include providing sub-zero rated sleeping bags, providing warming tipis, tents and wigwams within the encampment, and providing a large warming tent where meals are served.

    Who is trying to help the residents find shelter/housing?

    The Red Lake Nation, Hennepin County and many other agencies are trying to help camp residents find winter shelter and/or housing. Red Lake has hired Avivo, a full spectrum housing, chemical and mental health service, to match residents to available shelter. Hennepin County has staff at the encampment Monday through Friday trying to find short, mid and long term solutions that will benefit the residents of the encampment. MN Indian Women's Resource Center also has staff that visit the camp regularly and has helped to house or shelter campers.

    Will going to the encampment increase a persons 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. The Minneapolis Police patrol regularly and lights have been placed on site to provide some illumination during night-time hours.

  • Contact Us

    We receive a large volume of emails and will reply as soon as we can.

    REPLIES USUALLY TAKE 24 TO 48 HOURS.

    Please have patience.

    Migwetch.

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