Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

Resolution
2020-253

Resolution Declaring the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board’s Commitment to Provide Refuge Space to People Currently Experiencing Homelessness While Continuing to Work with the State, County, City, Non-Profit Organizations and Other Interested Parties to Identify Long Term Housing Solutions for People at the Powderhorn Encampment and Others Throughout the City

Information

Department:Superintendent's OfficeSponsors:
Category:PolicyProjects:No Project

Item Discussion

Whereas, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) is the steward of the Minneapolis Parks.

 

Whereas, the mission of the MPRB states that the MPRB exists to provide places and recreational opportunities for all people to gather, celebrate, contemplate, and engage in activities to promote health, well-being, community, and the environment;

 

Whereas, the city of Minneapolis has been experiencing unsheltered homelessness as a result of a variety of economic factors all during the time of a pandemic and at a time when the Governor of  Minnesota has declared a public health emergency under powers granted to him under the laws of Minnesota;

 

Whereas, in recent days the Minneapolis park system has seen a tremendous influx of individuals without homes occupying nearly 200 tents in different parts of Powderhorn Park and other people without homes seeking space in other Minneapolis parks and at other locations throughout the city;

 

Whereas, Governor Walz pursuant to Executive Orders 20-33 and 20-55 has declared a peacetime emergency that prevents the removal of homeless people from locations except in certain specific cases subject to certain specific requirements;

 

Whereas, every effort should be made to address the health and basic human needs during the COVID-19 and economic crises and the MPRB has worked with a number of partners to develop a protocol to address homeless encampments in an appropriate manner in terms of social distancing, providing medical response to those who display symptoms, and providing for the hygienic, housing, and health needs of people in need;

 

Whereas, there are serious health and safety risks for those people staying within the encampments and those encampments frequently do not represent a dignified form of shelter, and those public health and safety concerns also extend to the community at large and to MPRB employees; and

 

Whereas, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board seeks to be a partner with the city, county, state of Minnesota, health agencies, private nonprofit partners and other citizens who are seeking to aid those who are homeless and the MPRB has had a long-standing partnership with St. Stephens Human Services to address homelessness in our parks;

 

Whereas, while the MPRB is not equipped to support all the needs of our homeless citizens and the core mission of the MPRB is to provide parks and recreation to all citizens, the MPRB will continue to provide all possible support under the leadership of the Superintendent and within funding allocated by the Board for Homelessness Services;

 

Whereas, the MPRB is working with the City of Minneapolis Health Department experts to monitor and assess the public health conditions of encampments sites and will make changes as needed to ensure the health and safety of those experiencing homelessness in the context of mission of the MPRB;

 

Be It Resolved, that the MPRB is committed to providing people currently experiencing homelessness refuge space in Minneapolis parks;

 

Resolved, the MPRB will continue to work with agency partners to identify housing solutions for those individuals at Powderhorn Park encampment and throughout the city;

 

Resolved, that the Park Board will adhere to the encampment response protocol developed with agency partners (attached hereto) and to all applicable Executive Orders of Governor Walz and directs staff to make every effort to abide by those terms and to work with partners to provide humane care to people in parks;

 

Resolved, that the Park Board calls on the City, County, State, Federal Governments and Organizations that are raising funds on behalf of individuals at encampments to substantially increase funding to address the homeless crisis; and

 

Resolved that the President and Secretary of the Board are authorized to take all necessary administrative actions to implement this resolution.

Body

Background

Resolution added at the request of President Cowgill.

Meeting History

Jun 17, 2020 5:00 PM  Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Regular Meeting

Amend as follows: Insert Resolved, that the Park Board calls on the City, County, State, Federal Governments and Organizations that are raising funds on behalf of individuals at encampments to substantially increase funding to address the homeless crisis; and

RESULT:AMENDMENT ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Chris Meyer, Commissioner District 1
SECONDER:Londel French, Commissioner At Large
AYES:Jono Cowgill, LaTrisha Vetaw, Meg Forney, Londel French, Chris Meyer, Kale Severson, AK Hassan, Steffanie Musich
ABSENT:Brad Bourn
Jun 17, 2020 5:00 PM  Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Regular Meeting

Motion to Table Failed on a Roll Call Vote.

RESULT:DEFEATED [4 TO 4]
MOVER:Kale Severson, Commissioner District 2
SECONDER:Meg Forney, Commissioner At Large
AYES:LaTrisha Vetaw, Meg Forney, Kale Severson, Steffanie Musich
NAYS:Jono Cowgill, Londel French, Chris Meyer, AK Hassan
ABSENT:Brad Bourn
Jun 17, 2020 5:00 PM  Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Regular Meeting

Approved as Amended on a Roll Call Vote.

RESULT:ADOPTED [6 TO 2]
MOVER:Chris Meyer, Commissioner District 1
SECONDER:AK Hassan, Commissioner District 3
AYES:Jono Cowgill, LaTrisha Vetaw, Meg Forney, Londel French, Chris Meyer, AK Hassan
NAYS:Kale Severson, Steffanie Musich
ABSENT:Brad Bourn