Update on Francis Drake Hotel Fire

December 29 Fundraising Update
As of 8:45 am Sunday, we have received nearly $315K in donations. We are grateful for the incredible support offered by neighbors, concerned citizens, and corporations who are stepping up in the immediacy of the crisis. Thank you to Daniel and the staff at the Radisson Hotel as well as Amy and the staff at the Hyatt for offering rooms during this transition; corporate contributors including Thrivent; and our more than 2,400 donors to the Minnesota Helps – Drake Hotel Fire Recovery Fund. Our team continues to work hard to address the immediate and long-term needs of the survivors of the fire.

December 28 Update to the Community
We are pleased to share that we just approved a grant of $40K from the Minnesota Helps – Drake Hotel Fire Recovery Fund to support First Covenant Church of Minneapolis who will be providing temporary shelter to families who were displaced by the Christmas Day fire. Funding will help Covenant prepare a hospitable, safe, sanitary, and supportive environment for families who have already endured so much over the past several days.

“In partnership with the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, and Red Cross leadership, the First Covenant Church of Minneapolis considers it a privilege to provide temporary 24/7 shelter for the residents of the Francis Drake fire tragedy,” said Rev. Dan Collison, Lead Pastor, First Covenant Church. “With the financial assistance of the Minneapolis Foundation flowing from the incredible generosity of the broader community, we will create a place of refuge in which the Drake residents will receive meaningful hospitality, activities for children, general support and care, three meals a day, showers and laundry—all of the things that you need to have when working hard to recover from a tragedy and while seeking new housing. Thank you, everyone!”

The Minneapolis Foundation continues to be in contact with organizations on the ground and will keep the public informed as we continue to distribute funding to support the needs of those impacted by the fire.

December 28 Fundraising Update: As of 9 a.m. on Saturday, our generous community has donated more than $278,000 to support the immediate and long-term needs of those impacted by the Drake fire. THANK YOU!

December 27 Update to the Community
As of 2:30 p.m. on December 27, we have collected more than $245,000 in donations from the community to support the immediate and long-term needs of those directly impacted by the Francis Drake Hotel fire. As the donations continue to come in, our team at The Minneapolis Foundation is working hard to ensure that every dollar is distributed to meet the specific needs of the individuals and families who had been living at the Drake.
Addressing Immediate Needs
In the immediate aftermath of the fire, the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center stepped into overdrive to deploy food and emergency supplies to the impacted families. Yesterday, we delivered an emergency check for $25,000 to support this urgent work. We have been working with Westminster Presbyterian Church to secure hotel rooms for immediate shelter for families for this weekend. To ease that transition, we have purchased Target gift cards to be distributed to families who will be moving into the hotels from the temporary shelter at Bethlehem Baptist Church. With more than 100 children impacted by the fire, including many who are school-aged and on winter break, we are also focusing on ensuring these kids have the opportunity to step away from the tragedy and just be kids.
Implementing Longer-Term Solutions
While the short-term needs are tremendous, we know the solutions required to bring longer-term stability to those impacted are complex. It is our goal to help families impacted by the fire get settled in long-term affordable housing. We have been working closely with our nonprofit partners in the affordable housing sector, including Urban HomeWorks and Hope Community, to identify available units and match them with prospective tenants. Using proceeds from the Minnesota Helps – Drake Hotel Fire Recovery Fund, we will offer additional rent subsidies to help families resettle and stabilize in a supportive environment that offers wrap-around social services in addition to a safe living environment.
As with any crisis, the situation on the ground is changing rapidly. We are committed to stewarding our community’s generous donations to ensure they go to the highest and best use, meeting the needs of those impacted by the fire. A huge thank you to all of those who have already donated to this cause.

If you haven’t yet, you can text DRAKEFIRE to 243725 or donate here: https://give.onecause.com/drakefire

Featured photo credit: Mark Vancleave and the Star Tribune