200 evicted from Minneapolis hotel that became sanctuary during riots

A former Sheraton hotel turned into a temporary shelter to give the homeless affected by the recent unrest a safe place to stay, but now the owner of the building is asking the people staying there to vacate the premises.

For the last two weeks, the south Minneapolis hotel has been home to a couple hundred people experiencing homelessness. Now, however, they are worried they’ll have to find another place to stay.

The hotel had been converted to a makeshift shelter to help people who had been displaced by the recent riots and looting. Some people living in a nearby homeless encampment moved in as well.

The hotel owner sent a text to organizers Monday evening saying he wanted the building evacuated of all 200 residents by 11 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Organizers say the owner must be frustrated with the situation and is trying to force a resolution. Some unsheltered residents choose to leave on their own after the evacuation notice and a drug overdose early Tuesday morning.

Others say they plan to stay because there are no shelter beds to take them.

Organizers put out a call for tents and handed out sleeping bags Tuesday, but they say the most vulnerable in our community shouldn’t be turned out on the streets at a time when they need shelter the most.

Some of those who remain in the hotel met with elected officials about getting more support for the operation, but there’s no word how long the people will be allowed to stay.