People living at the homeless camp in Minneapolis got a surprise Saturday when a group of local college students served a hot meal and handed out donated items.
The encampment is near Hiawatha and Franklin Avenues and has grown over the last several months.
Earlier this month, city leaders voted to develop a piece of property nearby in the hopes of relocating the people who are currently living in tents on the sidewalk.
Students from Augsburg University, St. Catherine’s and the University of Minnesota spent the afternoon at the camp.
In’am Al-hammouri helped gather groups of volunteers and found donations. She said she’s visited the camp several times over the last month and learned a lot about what people need, especially as the temperatures drop.
“I know a woman here in particular, she was like, ‘Most people that say we’re coming back, never come back,'” Al-hammouri said. “So in a way, she was surprised. She was like, ‘You’re actually back and you’re back not alone, you’re back with a community.'”
The group of students handed out scarves, socks and propane tanks.
Al-hammouri said she wants to continue to help at the camp throughout the winter and she wants to encourage others to do the same.
“If you can do something, do something,” Al-hammouri said. “Don’t just sit and watch. If you really can help in some sort of way, help.”
Other community members took that advice to heart Saturday. A man handed out toothbrushes and bottles of water. A church youth group gave out hand warmers.
“Every time I come, I cry,” said pastor Brenda Flores. “It touches my heart. It’s very amazing how people get involved and we want more people to get involved.”