Volunteers and Monetary Donations Needed to Support Disaster Relief
For Drake Hotel Fire Victims

*NOTE: This is a changing disaster relief response, and there is a longer term systemic change needed! *

Volunteers Needed
Update from First Covenant Church, site of one of the current temporary shelters for the 12/24 Drake Hotel fire victims:
The volunteer shifts at First Covenant Church have all been filled. The greatest volunteer need currently is at the Multi Agency Resource Center (MARC) the Red Cross has set up. To help in these efforts, and for more information and instructions, go to  https://www.1stcov.org/volunteer

Monetary Donations Needed
The Red Cross estimates that over 41 cubic yards of “spontaneous donations of physical items” have been received since Christmas Day. Though the speedy action is appreciated, the greater need now is for cash donations to the Red Cross or the Minneapolis Foundation as that will provide greater flexibility to meet specific needs.
–Give to the Minneapolis Foundation where your donations support the immediate and long-term needs of the residents and families impacted by the fire: https://tmf.iphiview.com/tmf/DonatetoAnotherFund/tabid/381/Default.aspx
–Donate directly to the Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/donations/ways-to-donate.html

Long Term Housing Advocacy Needs
Late Christmas Eve, Francis Drake Hotel residents were awoken by fire, smoke and alarms. All residents were safely evacuated. The building has been deemed no longer safe to inhabit. The Drake has been used for years as overflow shelter. The building sits adjacent to Gethsemane Episcopal Church in E. Downtown Mpls. As there is already a lack of shelter and affordable housing in Mpls., this loss of needed overflow housing highlights the longer term issue of the need for a more comprehensive shelter and affordable housing plan for Minneapolis. Saint Mark’s, a member congregation of Align MPLS (formerly Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness) is addressing this need through its housing advocacy agenda. Stay tuned on how Saint Markans can help support our shelter and affordable housing agenda in Mpls. and in the state of Minnesota as we approach the 2020 legislative session. Contact: John Cuningham, [email protected]