Welcome to the Camp Blog. Here we hope to share the resident's hopes and dreams as well as tales of the incredible work that is being done every day to stabilize the camp and prepare for the transition to safe shelter and more permanent housing. Here we hope to sing the praises of those who too often go unseen and unheard.
Homeless people often struggle to find a voice within the system that makes so many decisions that affect their lives and well being. They are often denied dignified means to assert their humanity. It is appropriate to launch this blog with their own words - in the form of a petition written to engage the Minneapolis mayor and city council, the Hennepin county commissioners, and others who hold so much sway over their fate. In their own words:
"We, the residents of the Franklin Hiawatha encampment and your constituents, would like to let our elected officials and the public know that we need and want emergency shelter until we are able to obtain safe, affordable housing.
We are counting on you to protect us, and commit to working to identify additional locations to those that exist and fill daily. We ask that they be a safe haven to 50 or so people per site without a sobriety requirement and funded to provide compassionate, culturally sensitive staff. We also ask for an accommodation for a few who have pets.
We know that your goal is to create more affordable housing. That would take years to meet the gap. In the meantime, the entire community benefits when people have emergency shelter. It is a public health crisis and very costly to have people living in public.
We will do our part to improve our living situation but need emergency shelter to provide a safe place to sleep and address daily activities of functioning.
Thank you for your attention to this matter in the coming weeks."
(See signatures of the camp's residents below.)
The Franklin Hiawatha Encampment community is still actively gathering signatures for this petition.