City disputes evictions of homeless at Graffiti Graveyard

By KBJR News 1

October 3, 2013 Updated Oct 3, 2013 at 6:46 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- City leaders in Duluth say they have not acted to evict people living in a camp under a freeway in Duluth known as Graffiti Graveyard.

Earlier this week advocates for the homeless said people in the camp had been told they had to be out by the end of the week.

Daniel Fanning, the City's Communications Director says Duluth Police never threatened eviction.

He says police did inform the homeless living down there that they cannot stay there indefinitely, which has always been the case.

Fanning said an increase in police calls to the Graffiti Graveyard and the start of colder weather is what prompted police and the city to reach out to the homeless.

He says CHUM, Lutheran Social Services and other organizations are trying to put together a housing plan for those living at the Graffiti Graveyard.

"We know they can't stay there indefinitely and again they don't want to stay there indefinitely, but as long as there is cooperation, as long as there is clear and honest communication, and as long as there's a plan in place to help these individuals find a place to live, then we're OK with that and we'll work with them and no cops will come in busting the doors down forcing them to leave," said Daniel Fanning, City of Duluth Communications Director.

Fanning has been meeting with the homeless and advocates and says he will continue to do so until a solution is reached.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@kbjr.com