Native American Homelessness and Minneapolis’ Infamous Tent City: Dispelling Myths and Stereotypes to Uncover Solutions
In the summer of 2018, an affordable housing crisis in Minneapolis, Minnesota led to the erection of a homeless encampment infamously labeled, “Tent City.” Publicized by media as a camp for homeless Native Americans, pervasive myths and stereotypes filled the airwaves while public agencies and nonprofit organizations raced to find solutions to this community crisis before the cold winter months settled in. Written from the perspective of an Indigenous woman working in the social services sector of Minneapolis, along with her faculty advisor in a public and nonprofit graduate program, this article: 1) identifies issues of homelessness in Native American communities, 2) dispels myths and stereotypes about Native Americans that impede meaningful progress, 3) explores barriers to safe and secure housing for Native Americans and other marginalized communities, 4) identifies states and countries leading the way to solve homelessness, and 5) suggests best practices and solutions to the ongoing homelessness crisis.
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