Red Cross in need of new shelter for tornado victimsby Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — An emergency shelter set up for displaced tornado victims in north Minneapolis will close Thursday.
Hennepin County social workers and nonprofit housing groups are scrambling to find longer-term shelters or apartments for displaced residents. Thirty-four people spent Monday night at the gym in the North Commons Recreation Center.
Lynette Nyman, a spokeswoman for the Twin Cities chapter of the American Red Cross, says the agreement with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board was to borrow the North Commons Recreation Center for three weeks.
"So they need to take back the recreation center and make it available for the north Minneapolis broader community," said Nyman. "Right now we are diligently and crazily searching for an appropriate new shelter location."
Nyman says if a new location isn't found by Thursday, residents may have to stay at existing homeless shelters.
Delray Meanweather and his wife have been staying at the gym of the North Commons center.
"They told us we had to be gone Thursday morning from the park. We knew nothing about this until today, 15 minutes ago. My concern is we have nowhere to go. That's the reason why we're here," he said.
Meanweather said he doesn't want to go to another shelter because he doesn't want to be split up from his wife. The only option for couples without children is an adult shelter, where men and women are separated.
The North Commons center has been used exclusively as a temporary shelter following the May 22 tornado. The rec center needs to re-open for summer programming now that school is out, said park board spokeswoman Dawn Sommers. Some of the services include free weekday summer lunches to about 100 kids.