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More Than A Quarter-Million Raised To Benefit Those Displaced By Drake Hotel Fire

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- After fire destroyed their home on Christmas Day, people once living in the Drake hotel are looking ahead to what's next.

The building served as temporary housing in downtown Minneapolis. More than 100 people, many of them children, are staying at Bethlehem Baptist Church as they wait for a new place to go.

As donations pour in, the families are ready for the next phase of recovery.

"We don't have anywhere to go anymore and we out here and it's bad and we're all emotional," mother Shannon Harrison said. "None of the kids in here have had a hot breakfast at all, we're all sleeping on cots, it's crowded. I mean, we get the situation but at the same time we're not seeing the results of what you say is supposed to be happening."

Hennepin County says some of the families will be moving to a hotel in Bloomington, while others will stay at Covenant Church in Minneapolis, but the goal is to create a long-term housing plan for everyone.

The Minneapolis Foundation has been the main collection point for monetary donations. It has received more than a quarter-million dollars so far -- $270,000 as of Friday night.

Also on Friday, the Minneapolis Fire Union and non-profit Firefighters for Healing donated $5,000 each to the relief fund. That money will go towards supplies for the shelter and paying for extended stay hotels. The group says it's also buying gift cards to give to people staying at the shelters buy whatever they need.

"Service runs deep through our firefighters, whether they're on duty or off duty, so it didn't surprise me they reached out," Mark Lakosky, of the Minneapolis Fire Union, said.

Demolition is expected to start this weekend at the hotel.

How To Help

Visit, call 612-872-3226, or 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation that will support disasters big and small.

Donations can also be made through the Minneapolis Foundation. Text DRAKEFIRE to 243725.

Donations may also be mailed to:
American Red Cross Minnesota Region
1201 West River Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55454

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