On Friday September 7, 2018 Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey met with representatives of the Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors Group, Natives Against Heroin, the leadership of the Red Lake and Leech Lake tribes, Shakopee Mdwakanton Sioux Community, and various city, county and state agencies whose mission involves the health, safety and housing of the people of Minnesota. The topic of the discussion was the the creation of safe, temporary and weather appropriate transitional housing for the residents of the Franklin Hiawatha encampment.
At that meeting 6 goals and principles were agreed to by all present. They include:
Creating culturally sensitive and trauma-informed emergency shelters with services available on-site (such as mental health, chemical dependency, jobs training, housing, etc.)
Drug use at a shelter site has a particular and significant impact on women and children; therefore care should be taken to be aware of and address this concern in any plan.
The current location of the encampment is not ideal.
That the group will publicize a living and dynamic, co-created plan as soon as possible, with Tuesday, September 11 as a tentative release date.
Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors Group leadership, (Patina Park, chair, and Robert Lilligren, vice chair) will be the point of contact for the City staff working on the transition plan.
Lastly, all present in the room shared this important goal: There will be no wide-spread dispersal of residents from the encampment before transition plans are in place.
NOW WE NEED YOU!
Please contact the mayors office and your city council person. Thank them for taking this issue seriously and not sweeping the tragedy and policy failure of homelessness back into the shadows. Tell them you support their efforts to create a compassionate, thoughtful and culturally sensitive plan to transition the residents of the Franklin Hiawatha encampment into a temporary shelter until more permanent housing can be found.
Each and every member of our community deserves compassion, dignity and respect. Make your voices heard.
The white board after the meeting with Mayor Frey.
Mayor Frey and representatives of the Shakopee Mdwakanton Sioux Community, the Red Lake and Leech Lake bands and Natives Against Heroin.