Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Homelessness crisis keeps moving - to the same places

In the working-class Phillips community of south Minneapolis, residents are frustrated by a seemingly endless cycle of homeless encampments popping up, being removed, and resurfacing blocks away - and skeptical of any promise of change.

In the West Phillips neighborhood, Melissae Bletsian watched as an encampment sprung up behind her home earlier this year, next to a sober house and treatment center. People would shoot up drugs and pass out in the alley, where first responders would try to revive them while children looked on from a playground. Gardens became outhouses. Gun violence traumatized neighbors. The camp was cleared only after an organized, relentless barrage of complaints from neighbors.

Bletsian and many of her neighbors have grown cynical, suspecting that had the encampments encroached on more affluent parts of town, they would have been handled far sooner. Instead, they've multiplied and moved, burned and been rebuilt, in the same few Minneapolis neighborhoods.


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