Open Your Heart, which has been targeting donations to help hungry and homeless Minnesotans since 1986, is currently responding to an urgent need in downtown Minneapolis. This was recently released by Open Your Heart’s executive director, Ed Murphy:
“In recent weeks a camp of homeless women, men and children has emerged and grown near downtown Minneapolis. This morning Open Your Heart visited the camp and counted 49 tents and many other makeshift sites. With an estimated population of at least 100, there has been only one portable toilet. Needless to say this is a very unhealthy and inhumane situation. The good news is that there are a number of public and private agencies, including the Mpls police that are working to ensure that there are some positive short- and long-term outcomes, including housing and shelter placement. Unfortunately, there is a severe shortage of available shelter beds and long-term housing is also in short supply.
“Open Your Heart’s mission is to ensure that the most basic needs of food and shelter are available for the poorest and most vulnerable among us. So we are working with the local community in ensuring that as long as the camp is open, the most basic needs of adequate food, hygiene, showers, and toilets are available. We have partnered with the non-profit American Indian Community Development Corporation, and have provided immediate funding for daily availability of food for those in the camp.
“As most of the camp residents are Native Americans we are especially happy to be able to partner with an agency that serves this community with such respect and decency. We are also working to ensure that a hygiene center is established that will provide adequate showers, toilets, health care, etc. Of course, an encampment in the middle of the city is not a long term solution, but we are a crisis agency and hundreds of Minnesotans with little choice but to camp outside is a crisis. If you’d like to help, please make a donation at www.oyh.org/donate/ and mention “Homeless Camp Fund” in the comments box. One hundred percent will be spent on emergency supplies and equipment. We hope that this crisis is resolved soon, but until it is, we are very concerned of the day to day needs of those living there. ”
For more information on Open Your Heart, visit www.oyh.org.