Governor Walz clarifies Executive Order on homeless encampments

Homeless populations across Minnesota have been hit especially hard as a result of COVID-19. It is important to know that the ability and resources to social distance, keep your space sanitary, and stay at home are privileges in and of themselves that not every Minnesotan currently has access to. Every Minnesotan deserves to have the best fighting chance to remain safe and healthy during this time. To assist in helping our homeless populations, Gov. Walz clarified specifications in 20-33 of Executive Order 20-47. These clarifications would implement strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other safety risks posed in homeless encampments.

The order clarifies that local government and law enforcement may address and interfere with trespassing so long as it pertains to a life threatening or injury provoking situation. Under certain circumstances, governments may interfere with carrying capacity violations in encampments if it poses a threat to the health and safety of individuals. However, local government and law enforcement is prohibited from performing “sweeps” of encampments as doing so would increase likelihood of the spread of COVID-19.

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