Skip to main content

Vikings players, owners chip in $50,000 for Drake Hotel fire victims

Fundraising for those displaced by the blaze has surged.
Drake Hotel fire

Fundraising efforts to help the homeless people and families displaced by the fire at the Francis Drake Hotel apartments on Christmas Day were boosted on Sunday by the Minnesota Vikings.

Vikings players, led by tight end Kyle Rudolph, pooled their resources to donate $25,000 to the relief effort, which was then matched by the Vikings' ownership group to bring the total to $50,000.

The Minneapolis Foundation, which has been the main collector of donations since the blaze, said that as of Saturday it had received more than $278,000 to help the impacted families.

"For me, Christmas is a time where you’re supposed to be spending time with family. Really, the whole holiday season – it’s all about spreading Christmas cheer and doing things for other people," Rudolph, who is the Vikings' 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, said.

"When you hear news of a tragedy like this that displaces 250 people, and their lives are turned upside down, they don’t know where to go for help, it makes you feel like you need to do something – you need to step up; you need to help these people."

The Drake Hotel, which was built in 1926, went up on flames on Christmas morning. It was being used as an overflow shelter for the city's homeless, who suddenly found themselves with anywhere to stay as the fire took hold.

Since then, efforts have focused on finding the families temporary shelter, as well as providing them with the living essentials they need.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Families have either been moved to a hotel in Bloomington, or at another temporary shelter provided by the Covenant Church in Minneapolis.

At the legislative level, attention is shifting to providing more long-term housing options for the homeless in the Twin Cities.

In the wake of the fire, Gov. Tim Walz said he's planning a bonding request for the Legislature to address this issue, per MPR.

"This persistent homelessness and the issue of housing, this just becomes starkly real here,” said said. “We knew it was out there, we see it, it's always around us, but a lot of times without these tragedies it may not come home to people the same way."

Next Up

image

Charges: Driver had been drinking at party before striking teens, killing one

The victims were walking home from Walmart at the time of the crash, according to court documents.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 4.32.08 PM

State: Beltrami County Jail conditions present imminent risk of 'life-threatening harm'

The state is taking action to force changes at the Beltrami County Jail.

BrillyCarchiGoFundMe

Tributes to 15-year-old girl killed in Burnsville crash

The teenager was a student at Burnsville High School.

police lights

Charges: New Ulm couple abused young children with cruel punishments

Warning: The following contains upsetting details about child abuse.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 1.18.29 PM

Boy reels in 9.5lb walleye, wins pickup truck at Brainerd ice fishing tourney

Contestants come from all over the country compete in the annual event held in Brainerd.

ArrowheadRace

Arrowhead 135 ultramarathon in northern MN kicks off in -25F temperatures

The race is considered one of the 50 most challenging races in the world.

Related

Drake Hotel fire

Part of Drake Hotel to be demolished after Christmas Day fire

The fire displaced more than 200 residents on Christmas morning.

Screen Shot 2019-12-25 at 11.08.02 AM

Massive fire at Drake Hotel apartments in downtown Minneapolis

The building primarily serves as an overflow shelter for the homeless.

Wide Left: Midseason report card for the Vikings

With the Vikings 6-2 and in the thick of the NFC playoff race, Blair figured it was a good time to draw attention to those who are excelling and also to those who simply aren't making the grade.

Kirk Cousins

Vikings owners 'very concerned' about unvaccinated players

Overall, the NFL has rather healthy vaccination rates.

Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph sends farewell to Vikings fans in Players Tribune piece

"Every season I played here, every game I played here — you all believed."

Kirk Cousins

Wide Left: Why the Vikings need to get offensive this offseason

With multiple holes on defense, emphasizing a top-tier offense should be a focal point.

Kyle Rudolph

Minnesota Vikings release veteran TE Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph has been with the team since 2011.