City Council approves funding for temporary Navigation Center  

The 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. Demolition work is scheduled to begin next week 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.

While not final, the City has also identified a possible operator to run the center in partnership with tribal and community partners. More details are expected to be announced at the City Council’s Housing Policy and Development Committee on Wednesday, Oct. 24.  

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.

 

Published Oct 19, 2018

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