Monday, June 21, 2010

Drug Use Issues at 915 22nd Ave N

Post and photos by Jeff Skrenes, Hawthorne Neighborhood Council Housing Director

A Hawthorne resident called me today to inform the neighborhood council about drug use happening at the back door of 915 22nd Ave N. This property, owned by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, is being cleaned out after arson was suspected some time ago. The neighborhood would like to see the structure demolished and have the property lines redrawn at 2126 and 2128 Dupont to create two properties that continue all the way to the alley.

In the meantime, block club members and residents have started up a community garden nearby, with the help of the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council and Urban Homeworks. Block club participants report drug use activity happening at all hours of the day.

Where things become tricky is that the rear doorway where the activity takes place is quite literally impossible to see from the street or the alley. One has to go around the corner just to see the alcove. Naturally, residents are hesitant to do so, worried about who or what they might encounter.

Phone calls have been made to CM Hofstede, Minnesota Housing, and the 4th Precinct. Having virtually no witnesses to the activity makes official reporting problematic. Our goal at this time is to get the cleanup crew to formally report to the MPD that they found upwards of 40-50 needles on the back steps so that there is at least a trail of documentation. Any residents who see signs of illicit activity, even lurking, at this property, are urged to call 911.


Johnny Northside! said...

I might point out the issues around this house are especially bad when a nearby church offers a free meal, and all kinds of homeless drug users rush into the neighborhood.

I'm not discouraging the church from this activity--clearly, they are doing as Christ has commanded them to do--but I'd like to see more police presence during those times when the church is having its food kitchen and every down-on-their-luck suffering soul converges on that part of the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I'd encourage anyone to simply start calling 911 and reporting "activity". Getting frequent visits by the police even if nothing is turned up should move the traffic along to somewhere else.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

John, I'm going to challenge that assumption more than a little bit. That's my church and while the Loaves and Fishes meals may be open to such people, I'm not sure there's any actual evidence of such a connection. Still, it might be a good time to check up on activity over at this address to actually see if this is taking place.

On a technical/editorial note, I'm moderating comments on this blog from a different standpoint than what I'd use on JNS. This blog is the official HNC blog, and while I want speech to be as free as possible, I will ultimately publish or reject comments based on whether such a dialogue fulfills the mission of the organization.