Minneapolis street homelessness down as Duluth approves Homeless Bill of Rights

Categories: How We Live
homelessness.jpg
The city of Duluth made headlines earlier this week for becoming the first city in Minnesota to approve a Homeless Bill of Rights.

SEE ALSO: Tim Pawlenty jokes about punching homeless woman

But according to Mikkel Beckmen, director of the office to end homelessness for Hennepin County, Minneapolis has quietly made progress in recent years in reducing the number of people who have no choice but to live on the streets.

"In Minneapolis we've developed a really good partnership with the 1st Precinct and the broader police department where the St. Stephen's street outreach team gets dispatched as first responders instead of having law enforcement there," Beckmen said. "Before, 40 percent of 1st Precinct officers' time was spent dealing with the homeless and not crime. Any community member would agree that's a waste of resources. We want them fighting crime and keeping the community safe, but the community didn't really have any other tools for dealing with homelessness."

(The number for St. Stephen's first responders is 612-879-7624.)

"It's about not criminalizing the experience of being homeless, which often happens in other cities across the country," Mikkel continued. "Often the first response is to criminalize that reality."

The MPD's partnership with St. Stephen's grew out of Hennepin County's 10-year plan to end homelessness, which was enacted in 2006. Since 2007, street homelessness in Minneapolis has fallen by nearly 40 percent, or down to about 150 people living on the streets on a given night, Mikkel said.

"Things are going pretty well, but clearly we've got more work to do to become a community that has ended homelessness for all," Mikkel said.

The document unanimously approved by the Duluth City Council states that homelessness "within the City of Duluth is at an all-time high" and claims "lack of affordable, accessible and supportive housing is the primary cause... with forty-one percent of homeless adults on waiting lists for subsidized housing and an average wait time of one year."

(For more, click to page two.)

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20 comments
senatortombstone
senatortombstone

"Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself or herself and of his or her family, including food, clothing and housing." Nonsense, these are not rights, these are entitlements.

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

Sweet, dumpster diving is now legal...for the homeless.

alsdkfj
alsdkfj

I get the feeling that the number of homeless individuals will actually rise with this new law. I really wonder how some city council can just decree that it will "End Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty."  Can a government agency stop humans from making mistakes? If money was being wasted by criminalizing the state of being homeless, wait until it is criminal to allow someone to become homeless.

Shoke Mohamed
Shoke Mohamed

well yea, its so cold in duluth, ppl would rather go to jail than be homeless in duluth.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81

I don't see this Duluth homeless bill of rights doing anything besides making the city legislators feel good about themselves.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

Of course "Homelessness is more of a symptom."  And using the police to deal with it is the most expensive, least constructive, and cruelest way to waste resources without solving the problem.

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

Nothing that someone else pays for is a 'right'. 

If people want to give freely, it's their decision.  But to demand affordable housing, food, etc, is not a right.

LeBrain_James22
LeBrain_James22

@AlJArp hahaha this is great!! just surrounded by homeless people right after we parked

lund519
lund519

The reason why they're not dealing with the homeless in Minneapolis is because the social services has bought them bus tickets and stuck them on Greyhound Buses to Duluth. Almost every person experiencing homelessness in downtown Duluth has arrived from Minneapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles, even NYC as these cities have no affordable housing or services left (especially Los Angeles and San Fran). Because it's at 'the end of the line' Duluth has become the last place left that still has SRO hotels and shelters downtown, soup kitchens, bread lines, etc. Unfortunately there are no jobs and no way for homeless people coming to Duluth to advance once they've received help without having to go back to the same unaffordable city that put them on the street.

TC4L
TC4L

How can you criminilize being homeless?  As if it's completly a choice.  Hey, your homeless and don't have money.  Here's a $100 citation for you to learn your lesson.

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

@swmnguy   A goodly number of these people used to be in mental institutions.   The Liberals fought hard to 'give them their rights' - and have them released.   This is the result.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1 What a mean terrible person you are.   Do you see starving chilrden and spit bile like that at them?    I hope you realize you are the bad guy in the movie.   You are the heartless bitter old loser who screams at children and tries to close down the community center.   What a sad gray little life you must live.   Must suck thinking so little of your fellow man that you feel the need to type such hateful things about suffering people.  Go kick a puppy loser.  

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@TC4L Some people are just mean and cruel.  They can't put themselves in the shoes of other people.    They are the same people who read the Bible and ignore the parts about loving your neighbor and focus on the parts about hating gay people.   Some people just have bad souls.  They usually vote Republican.  

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann @Truth_Teller_1

Just pointing out the US Constitution: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Nothing there mandating your fellow citizens to provide this via their labors.

You're the one that misinterprets and puts a negative spin on a simple comment.

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1 

Awe, the phony MB has ran the same childish racket up in here for the past few years.  He/she/it got themselves banned and blocked from this forum a couple years ago.  There is no "interesting discussion" with MB.  Much like that one disgruntle monkey at the zoo, MB's lack of class incites him to throw feces and ruin the environment for everyone else.     

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

I think you are a very sad person.

#1.  Get a new screen name.  Don't try and denigrate someone you detest.

#2.  Stop trying the ad homin attacks.  Don't attack a person who disagrees with you by calling them names.

#3.  Don't try and 'project' ... like your quote: "people don't like..."  You don't what 'people don't like'  It's simply your opion.

#4.  Quit calling people you don't agree with assholes, greedy, no love, arrogant, etc.

#5.  If you can do this, then maybe we can have an interesting discussion!

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1 Just a mean heartless person.  I can't imagine what a dark sad little world you live in where you never help your fellow man.   Just walking around thinking like a greedy asshole.  I got news for you chum.  Say that selfish greedy shit you just typed in public and you will have no friends and no love.  People don't like selfish arrogant assholes who see a homeless person and think about all the ways you can kick him.  

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