By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An apparent overdose is being blamed for the death of a man who lived at the Navigation Center in South Minneapolis.

The Navigation Center opened last month and houses people who had been living in a homeless encampment off Hiawatha Avenue. Reg Chapman has more on the grieving process and the progress Navigation Center residents are making.

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Just like any family that loses a loved one, they grieve together.

“Staff and residents did everything possible to save his life and, unfortunately, sometimes everything we do isn’t enough,” said Stephanie Devich.

The death of a well-known Navigation Center resident has many wanting to work harder to get stabilized. Devich provides harm reduction services, and she said she sees the positive aspects of the center.

“Everybody has their own little space, they have partitions in between, everything — it’s like they got their own private room,” said Devich.

Only residents and people providing resources are allowed inside the gate.

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The Navigation Center has room for 120 residents. Right now, 148 people call this place home.

“We had a couple of people who signed a lease today,” explained Emily Bastian.

AVIVO has placed 73 people so far in permanent housing.

“We have folks that are still trying to get in that are staying in their cars because people are trying to get there,” Bastian said. “That’s where the community is.”

Medical and mental health services are here as well.

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Those mourning will get the help they need to pick themselves up so they can be the next to move on to permanent housing.

Reg Chapman