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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Monday May 27th 2024

Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment funded; operator chosen

Amble”'s Machinery and Industrial Supplies”' 105-year-old building had over 40,000 Sq. Ft. of metal fabrication equipment, tools, steel stock, parts, pumps, nuts and bolts, hardware of all kinds, hoses, belting, fixtures and material handling that was sold as Jim Amble retired after 42 years in the business at 2109 Cedar Av. and sold the property to Red Lake Nation for their development.

The Mpls. City Council has approved $1.5 million in funding for the temporary Navigation Center, which will provide a safe and service-rich environment for people currently living at the Franklin/Hiawatha homeless encampment.

The Navigation Center will be established at 2109 Cedar Ave., a 1.25-acre site adjacent to the Franklin Avenue METRO Blue Line station and near the encampment. The center is scheduled to open in early December and be operational until the end of May.
The Navigation Center site includes parcels owned by the Red Lake Nation and the City of Minneapolis.

City staff are looking at several temporary structure options for the center, including trailers. Demolition work is underway to prepare the site. The center ”” the first of its kind in Minneapolis ”” will be modeled after similar concepts in other cities, including Seattle, San Diego and San Francisco. They are designed to offer short-term, low barrier access to shelter and support services.

It has been agreed that Simpson Housing Services will coordinate the housing and services at the nearby site owned by Red Lake Nation in cooperation with Tribe and community partners.

The 1.25 acre site is on an “island” with the Franklin Light Rail Station, Cedar Box Company, and Takoda Institute surrounded by Cedar, Franklin, and Hiawatha Avenues. As the buildings were “swallowed” and returned to the earth, words like “swords into plows” came to mind and visions of plows turning the earth beneath so Mother Earth can foster the rising of a place for her people.

The City has been working with tribal, community and government partners for several weeks on a response to the homeless encampment located along a sound wall on the east side of Highway 55 near the Little Earth community. In addition to working on the development of the temporary Navigation Center, the City and its partners have been coordinating ongoing outreach efforts at the encampment focused on connecting people to healthcare, emergency shelter and other supportive services.


These links to Watching the Hawks by Tyrel Ventura, Tabatha Wallace, and Shaun Stone are recommended for an in depth view of the Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment.

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