People left homeless by the Christmas Day fire at the former Francis Drake Hotel should soon be receiving cash, gift cards and other essentials, leaders of a local group fundraising for them said Tuesday.
The Minneapolis Foundation said that it had approved an additional $50,000 in payments to organizations helping the more than 200 people who lost their homes in the fire.
Of that money, $25,000 was set to go to the Folwell Neighborhood Association for “direct support to the individuals and families impacted by the fire, including cash and gift cards.”
Another $25,000 was approved for the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center for help providing “basic needs” to the residents.
The Minneapolis Foundation said it has raised about $418,000 of the $1 million goal it set for helping the survivors.
The former hotel served as Hennepin County’s only overflow shelter for families with children experiencing homelessness.
The 93-year-old three-story building was also home to people who rented their apartments privately and to some employees who helped maintain the building.
It’s still unclear what caused the fire that began about 3 a.m. Dec. 25 and destroyed much of the structure at 416 S. 10th St. Minneapolis fire officials have not yet released the results of their investigation.
A contractor hired by the city continued to work Tuesday to demolish portions of the building, after Minneapolis officials declared the fire-ravaged eastern side of it a public-safety hazard.
Sarah McKenzie, a spokeswoman for the city, said building officials had not yet decided how much of the western side will remain standing. Demolition was expected to continue Wednesday.