Open Collective
Open Collective
Updates and an urgent ask for action (not dollars!) TODAY and TOMORROW
Published on January 10, 2022 by Benjamin Melançon

Thank you so much for your generous support from November 2020 through today!  At the end of this letter please see some notes on all the good done last month alone.

But first, the encampment that you all have helped and that has helped many people find their way to stable permanent housing faces an existential threat.

Any support is appreciated.
    — Aaron, camp resident and quiet leader, to people offering to come defend the camp

If you are able to come in person and risk potential assault from Minneapolis police (and the possibility of your vehicle being blocked in for the day or even towed, if you park near the camp), many people are coming at 6am Tuesday January 11 to 203 Girard Ave N, Minneapolis MN try to ensure that the city does not use violence to remove people from vacant land.  (This has happened repeatedly to other encampments.)

Reach out to [email protected] with questions!

TODAY: Tell the City of Minneapolis to disavow government violence as a response to poverty

Sample call script: I am calling on you to cancel Tuesday's plan to displace people from Near North camp. I support the demands of camp residents:
  • No forced removal or destruction, especially during the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
  • All decisions about Near North camp happen with residents' consent.
  • No use of police or other public resources to displace people ever.
  • Permanent or at least transitional housing, or even alternative vacant land, provided before leaving this camp.

Mayor's Office

Jacob Frey, Mayor of Minneapolis
[email protected]
@MayorFrey @Jacob_Frey

Peter Ebnet, Senior Policy Advisor (and a driving force for this cruelty)
@peterebnet, linkedin/peter-j-ebnet
[email protected]

Gia Vitali, Chief of Staff
[email protected]

Mychal Vlakovich, Communications Director
@mdvlatkovich, linkedin/mychalvlatkovich
[email protected]

Minneapolis Office of Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED)

Andrea Brennan, Housing Policy & Development Director and Interim Director of CPED
[email protected]

Maikao Vue. Homeless Response Coordinator
[email protected]

Erik Hansen, Economic Policy & Development Director
@erik3815, linkedin/erik3815
[email protected]

Katie Topinka, Housing Policy Coordinator
[email protected]

Minneapolis Public Works

Brette Hjelle, Interim Director of Public Works
[email protected]

Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Nominated Incoming Director of Public Works
[email protected]

Minneapolis Health Department

Bobby Morrow

Jose Acuna

Good Words from the Good Work during December

  •  Got 17 gallons of gas this morning. Thank you to our donors for your continuous donations! There are lots of expenses between propane, gas, warming supplies in the winter, so your contributions are greatly appreciated! :)
  •  Exchanged 10 20-lb. tanks of propane, filled 35 gallons of gas at Costco for generator. Thank you very much donors for your continuous contributions!
  •  Got 5w30 oil, big can of SeaFoam, headlamp, batteries, spark plug for generator. Thank you donors for your continuous donations!  These guys greatly appreciate the aid to make these necessary purchases possible! :)
  •  Went to Home Depot, got 4 propane exchanges & a bunch of much needed supplies with camp resident
  • Got 6 exchanges of 20-lb. tanks of propane, 2 5-gallon tanks of gas, 4 little green propane tanks, a couple hand warmers, 4 bottles of Heet.  Thank you thank you to all our donors for keeping these guys and gals warm & they appreciate all of your financial support & wishes!  Happy holidays! :)
  • Got 4 propane exchanges, some gas, 3 moving blankets, paper towels, propane heater for shed
And that takes us through the reimbursements made in December, all these expenses and more can be seen at

Apologies for only writing during crisis!  Thank you for ALL of your support.
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