Service continues for survivors of Christmas Day fire at Drake Hotel in Minneapolis

Jan 7, 2020

The Salvation Army continues to provide food and support services for dozens of people who survived a fire that destroyed the Francis Drake Hotel in Minneapolis on Christmas Day (pictured).

Since Dec. 30, Salvation Army staff and volunteers have been serving lunch and dinner for about 60 survivors who are being temporarily housed at a church in Minneapolis. The meals are being cooked and prepared at the nearby Salvation Army Harbor Light Center. 

Additionally, The Salvation Army has provided more than $6,500 worth of clothing, household goods, gas cards, and bus cards for 125 survivors. These services have been made possible by a multi-agency resource center specifically created to help the fire survivors.  

The Drake Hotel had served as an overflow and temporary shelter for individuals and families experiencing homelessness. The fire displaced more than 200 people. 

“We are honored to serve these people and give them hope,” said Major Rae Doliber, director of Emergency Disaster Services for The Salvation Army Northern Division. “We will continue to serve for as long as we are needed, as our resources allow.”

Doliber and a Salvation Army disaster crew began serving at the Drake Hotel soon after the blaze started in the early hours of Dec. 25. The team provided food, water, and other resources to hundreds of survivors and first responders.

Upon arriving on the scene, Doliber learned that many displaced mothers needed diapers for their children. 

“Their baby supplies had gone up in smoke,” Doliber said. “I ran to a nearby Kwik Trip convenience store and bought them out of diapers and wipes. The mothers were so thankful.”

The Salvation Army Northern Division pledges to do the most good with your gifts of time and money, with 81 cents of every dollar going directly to services. Join us by volunteering or making a donation to support your local community. 


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