The city of Minneapolis has recommended that a coalition of social-service agencies manage the planned relocation center for people now living in the homeless tent encampment along Franklin and Hiawatha avenues.
City Coordinator Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde said the Single Adult Shelter Collaborative, a coalition of agencies including Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army and Simpson Housing Services, has agreed to operate the Red Lake Nation-owned site that will be a “navigation center” for the homeless people in December.
These agencies will lend their “collective expertise” to the city because they have experience in managing large shelters, she said.
“We are really excited to move that forward,” Rivera-Vandermyde told the City Council’s Enterprise Committee on Thursday. The plan still must be approved by the City Council.
The lack of a site operator had caused concern for some council members. Last week, Council President Lisa Bender said she wouldn’t support approving a budget for the relocation of the camp without knowing who will operate the site.
“This has been a really challenging thing for us to take on, and I’m both terrified at the way that we’re building the plane while we fly it and really proud of our city that we’re stepping up to make that happen,” Council Member Steve Fletcher said at the committee meeting. “I feel so much better with every update.”
Rivera-Vandermyde also told the committee that the city will contract with Margaret King, former director of housing programs for the nonprofit DESC in Seattle, who helped design and run that city’s navigation center for the homeless.
A survey conducted by the Red Lake Nation showed there are 191 individuals and 103 tents at the encampment, Rivera-Vandermyde said.
She told the committee that an anonymous donor has come forward with a “significant” amount of money to help fund the shelter’s operations.
She said her department will provide more details about the relocation of the camp to the Housing Policy & Development Committee on Oct. 24.