(612) 588-7821

Drake Hotel Victim Relief

Update (1/21/2020):

1. We have requested to join the Drake FB page so that we can post things that are directly for the residents. We will not be monitoring the page for requests, however, any resident who has an ask should message our FB page, call 612-588-7821, or email admin@abepmn.org. If we can do it or know someone who does, we will make it happen.

2. Our donation update is that we have had $1435.46 in new donations. Total amount of donations received to date is $4250.76 These donations are what comes into our organization and individuals who donated selected these funds to be used to support the residents. We will continue to have this selection on our donation site until the end of February.

While it is not a large amount of money that is donated to our small non-profit, we have been able to help with things like phones, phone bills, storage costs, moving fees, court costs, electronics, amazon wish list items, and the cost of fees associated with obtaining new vital records.

Costs since last update: $5003.73 (we made up the rest with an organizational donation)

Storage facility fees: $220
Cell phones: $90
Court fees: $800
Moving fees and associated costs: $900.00
Laptops: $500 paid in advance
Amazon wish list: $1562.73
Previous total spent (see 01/13/2020 update) $931

3. We continue to offer notary services for those is need.

4. We have partnered with Starkey Hearing Technologies to replace hearing devices for the residents identified in need. No cost to this org or those in need. Thank you Andrea Morisette Grazzini for helping to coordinate.

5. LAPTOPS and DESKTOPS. ABEP is paying the cost so that every family/individuals can get these replaced. FREE GEEK Twin Cities, thank you for partnering. This offer does not expire. They are located at 2537 25th Ave S, with the entrance off the alley/parking lot side. Their store is open 12-5, Wednesday through Sunday. Thank you Michelle Warneke for making the connection.

6. We are working on getting cars donated that can be given to those who have identified this as a need. I will post updates as this develops.

7. If you believe in our mission and want to give, you can donate at www.paypal.me/abepmn You can select Drake Fire Support as an option.

8. Purchase an item from the Amazon list. Families are starting to find housing and this is a big way to help. ABEP has a business amazon account specifically for this effort and for many items we get business pricing. So if you would rather donate so that we can purchase more items, you are welcome to do that as well. https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/RIGVNRFVQIME?ref_=wl_share&fbclid=IwAR0ztZptB_P7NLbsxiNGbckZqyrVWl0e_BcrgVBylUOoAWEqA7SGBCUrc0w

9. THANK YOU. Thank you to every single volunteer and donor. These are trying times and it takes a village. Organizing this effort was all volunteer and we are honored to be a part of such a giving community and ecosystem of organizations and individuals who not just believe but operationalize selfless service.

Update (1/13/2020):

$1,212.75 was the total donated specifically indicated for Drake fire support from all sources as of 12/01/2020. 
The new total as of 6 pm today is $1552.55 via Paypal. We also received a $50 check specified for this purpose. Total funds dedicated specifically for Drake Fire support since 12/25/2019 is $2815.30.
Vital records request fees: $81
Storage fees for 2 residents: $350
Hot meal support through The Humanity Alliance: $500
Total spent: $931
Current balance of Drake fire support specific donations: $1884.30. We are giving our non-profit donors an option to have their donation to us be dedicated to the residents through Feb 28th. We had a list of direct pay links such as cash app and Paypal but not every resident had access to be able to have one of those and some residents felt it was not fair. We respect that and have not posted that information any further since that ask. 
We continue to provide notary services and assistance with obtaining the necessary forms and connecting residents to resources. Non monetary partnerships we are finalizing now: The three residents that are hearing impaired are getting new and cost free replacement aides. That is happening next week. 
The second partnership is being worked out with a tech provider who needed to partner with a 501c3 who can replace lost or damaged electronic device needs. ABEP will pay the costs up front so residents do not have to. More details later this week will be provided to residents.
We will continue to provide regular updates here and in our newsletter.

Update (1/6/2020):

We have several projects this year and we want to make sure that we can make donating more clear and efficient. When you donate to our organization via Paypal, you will now see a drop down to choose where you want your dollars to go. You can donate to our general operations, Village Credit Union Project, Village Housing Project or have your donation go to the residents of the Drake Hotel. 

We believe that fundraising using the survivors of this fire and their pain is unethical. While we support the all forms of giving and appreciate those who have stepped up to do what they can, when it comes to fundraising, it is our belief that the equitable thing to do is to give what we can direct.

We encourage anyone who donates to organizations to make sure that you ask questions before you give. Make sure that the non-profit is clear about what the money is being used for to ensure that it matches your values. Check that they are in good standing with the MN Secretary of State and MN Attorney General. Ask your friends about their knowledge and experience with the organization. Look up their public 990. This is the tax form that shows you the financial state of affairs. We also have to be accountable for where we choose to donate our money and taking some of these steps can help you to make an informed decision. 

These residents know how to take care of their needs. The issue is that they lost everything and now the Drake that they once called home is no longer habitable. They are having to start all over. As an issue of equity, we think that everyone’s dignity and humanity should be respected by providing them with funding to meet their own needs. 

$3290.81 of our donations since Dec 29th, have been selected for direct donation to the Drake residents. Our hope is that our supporters give $50,000. From now until March 1st, donors will see the Drake support option and can choose for it to be recurring if they would like. This option will be removed after this date, and funds will be distributed to those who are verified to have been residents. We have been able to help a few families already that were ready to start moving forward and are happy to play a small part in their recovery. We are also 

This effort embodies all seven principles of Kwanzaa:  Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).

Two days ago the Drake Hotel, which has been a stable home for those experiencing homelessness, burned down. This tragedy left almost 250 people, who were already experiencing trauma and making do with that little they have, without what they had and without housing. Many of those residents were from the Black diaspora. Tragedy strikes our community at large without warning and during difficult times many community leaders and organizations come together to do what we can. 
Yesterday, our Executive Director organized with our Black Northside leaders to start fundraising for immediate hygiene and emergency needs. We organized trucks, volunteers, money, and other needs such as hot meals, blankets, phone chargers, etc that had to be left behind. Today, we started to call upon our networks to continue to bridge the immediate need gaps. Government and larger entities need time to develop and approve mid to long term housing needs. Even replacement bus cards etc can take days to coordinate. That is where we come in. 
We are not helpless. When we pool our talent and resources together we can make a difference. Where we can help is with immediate needs, especially with helping to restore humanity. It can be difficult to accept help. People are processing. The ability to buy what you need or want for yourself without having to ask is important to restoring people’s hope and trust in the community that many people feel that they are shunned from. We welcome the victims with open arms and will be providing the following: 
We will be taking direct donations so that we can provide it directly to residents and continue to purchase items. Yesterday we were able to buy diapers, wipes, undergarments, cell phone chargers, phone minutes, and general hygiene items. We coordinated with local drug stores to receive these items for a discount. Community from all over the city and state came and gave what they could as they came downtown to the drop off zone. 
We will also be providing free onsite notary services for folks who will need to replace missing government ID’s birth certificates, and social security cards. We can help with storage of items and coordinate for sorting and packing. Other community members are helping to take an intake from every family so that we know sizes, ages, and specific asks/needs that traditional organizations may not be able to help with. We can also provide meeting space. We will be calling a community meeting to formally establish a community critical response team of Northside leaders and organizations so that we are always prepared to step in and activate. More info to come after the New Year. 
We are happy to have been able to step in and help be a part of that first level response that was desperately needed so that our elected officials could spend their time coordinating with Philanthropy and larger organizations. 
Thank you to everyone in community that stepped up with us. We will post regular updates here about what may be needed and how best to get it directly to those in need. We also believe in transparency in what is happening, what is being asked for, and how money we accept is being spent. We believe in direct giving because the right to have what you need is real equity and while long term strategies may need monetary support for housing etc, we are meeting the ground level immediate needs for those who were victims of The Drake Hotel fire and will assist at that level with overall community coordination. 

Paypal Donation link and QR Code:


Folks who own a restaurant or are food safe certified and want to provide a hot meal: