MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis leaders continue to work on a number of issues facing the city amid a number of crisis points. One major problem that’s ongoing is homelessness and people living on the street with mental illness.

WCCO’s Kate Raddatz asked Mayor Jacob Frey what he and other city leaders are doing to solve this.

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“That issue is extraordinarily important … The city is working on a number of different initiatives, first based on harm-reduction in and throughout our homeless-unsheltered population, making sure that they’re protected from COVID-19, that the areas are safe, that there are health and sanitary and cleanliness stations that are set up,” Frey told Raddatz.
“Secondly, we’ve got a medium-term which is shelters. We’ve just recently announced three new shelters that will be coming online over the next year-plus, the first being a culturally-specific and sensitive shelter that is built around our native community, hopefully getting up by Dec. 1 of this year. The second being a women’s shelter located in North Minneapolis, in the first quarter or so of next year. And then the final one being an Exodus Project, the Catholic charities, that will be geared toward people who are in need of some form of hospice care or mental treatment for mental illness.”

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Frey then added that the importance of long-term and stable housing, noting that the city has worked toward a greater number of affordable homes.

Last week, WCCO showed you what life is like for people living on the streets in the downtown area. Multiple community groups are working right now to reach out and talk to the homeless. The Downtown Council will have Nicollet Mall staffed with workers with resources from Mad Dads and Youth Link ten hours a day, with a goal of building bridges and hope.

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Last week, Frey’s office said they are working with St. Stephens on street outreach and are expecting a $9 million grant in August.

Kate Raddatz