Homeless Encampment, Debris Grow Near Bayfront Park; Cleanup Effort Planned Next Week

DULUTH, Minn. — A homeless encampment across the street from Bayfront Park has grown into a public health hazard, and a CHUM official confirms MnDOT will be cleaning the property sometime next week.

There are two growing sections along Railroad Street with about five tents and other items across from Playfront Park next to I35.Camp 1

The second section that’s most problematic, according to officials, is across from Bayfront Park and Pier B. The encampment includes piles and piles of trash and debris scattered on the ground and in the bushes and trees.

MnDOT and homeless advocates tell FOX 21 they have been working together to balance humanity and public health.

The encampment is a very public view of just how serious the homeless problem is in Duluth with people struggling on many different levels.

Meanwhile, beyond helping the homeless find permanent housing, more than a half-dozen non-profits, including CHUM, are working together with the city of Duluth to identify specific land for temporary unsheltered homelessness.Camp 2

The updated city’s ordinance for so-called “outdoor villages” sets standards for hygiene and sanitation services and requires sites have staff support from homeless service agencies.  This is just one initiative of a five-year homelessness plan through “Stepping On Up.”

CHUM officials tell FOX 21 they have had a difficult time finding an appropriate parcel of land for an outdoor village.

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