Open Collective
Open Collective
Near North Camp Post-Destruction Cash Aid proposal
Published on October 18, 2022 by Benjamin Melançon

This proposal is to our fiscal sponsor, Open Collective Foundation, to be able to take the emergency step of distributing cash after the city of Minneapolis' un-announced militarized destruction of Near North camp and displacement of the community you all have supportedRegular support, including for phones and for helping people moving into housing, will continue as well.

A name for the cash assistance program.
Near North Camp Post-Destruction Emergency Cash Aid

The intended impact—how this helps achieve the charitable mission of the Initiative.
The Initiative's mission is to give residents of Near North camp some resources to survive after the city of Minneapolis's long-threatened destruction of the camp came to pass.

The intended Recipients (as a group, i.e. which communities, characteristics, or situations).
The intended recipients are the residents of the Near North encampment in Minneapolis, a group of people who have come together to build their own homes and genuine community. While not traditionally housed, residents had created stability and security on vacant public land, in North Minneapolis since the fall of 2020, with the residents displaced on October 6 mostly having moved in during late 2021 and early 2022.

The criteria or method of selecting Recipients and determining amounts to disburse.
Near North camp has again been a fairly small and stable group of people, after new people took up residence after others, thanks to the stability of the camp, obtained permanent housing.  All current residents will be selected for this disbursement. The determined amount, $500, will cover meals, small storage unit rental, clothing and supply replacement, and possibly a night in a hotel while seeking another place to go.

Why cash assistance is necessary (i.e. why Recipients are not able to submit expenses to get paid directly on the platform).
People who have been displaced from Near North do not have traditional housing, and so are unbanked. Many lack access to internet-enabled devices (despite this community's best efforts). Cash assistance creates agency: having cash in hand will give the ability to buy necessities, rent hotel rooms, and pay storage fees without having to be escorted by someone with a credit card, or a credit card and a computer.  This is crucial now that the city of Minneapolis destroyed the camp on October 6, and people have become disconnected from one another and from the support networks that the camp has been maintaining that made cash disbursements less crucial until now.

The anticipated amounts to be disbursed, per Recipient or payment, and overall for the program in total.
$500 per person times twenty people = $10,000

We plan to disburse cash using payment apps in most cases, sometimes in two separate payments, or a combination of $250 ATM withdrawals and payment apps, but the total per person and the limits on volunteers ($250 max cash per year) will be respected.

We are in touch with a little less than half of the thirty people displaced when the city of Minneapolis' likely illegal and socially violent destruction of the camp dispersed people who lived there, but we expect to be able to re-establish contact with at least twenty.

The timeline for the cash assistance program (start and end dates, or indefinite).
Start date: 2022 October 18
End date: 2023 January 31
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Nickolas Williams

Posted on May 16, 2023

Benjamin this is Nick and I was wondering if you could help me get the cash assistance for the $500 I have filled out everything and sutra told me to contact you

Stephanie seifert

Posted on June 14, 2023

Hey Benjamin.. I've been relentlessly trying to figure out how to get the $500 with nothing but false information from all sides of the board...I see that I'm past the technical end date, but can I still get the $500 since I've finally figured out where to go to get it?? 
My phone number is