MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A homeless shelter across the street from U.S. Bank Stadium is planning a temporary move during the Super Bowl.
“These are clean linens that are laid out every night for our guests,” lead pastor Dan Collison said.
First Covenant Church has provided a warm safe space for homeless in downtown Minneapolis for eight years.
“This is a shelter for 50 guests, mostly women,” Collison said.
Conversations about how to continue meals and shelter during the Super Bowl began years ago, before Minnesota was selected as the host. And, it’s all because of the location.
The Super Bowl Host Committee said people in the area surrounding the stadium will face airport-like security. Coming and going will be more challenging.
St. Stephen’s Human Services runs the shelter inside the church. Executive Director Gail Dorfman worked with the committee and says it’s all about making sure clients feel comfortable and have access to services.
“We were pretty clear from the beginning that it was going to be difficult, at least for game day, and that weekend to operate a shelter in that space. It wasn’t going to work for our clients, a little too much activity, a little too much security,” Dorfman said.
Collison stressed this is not about hiding the homeless.
“This was the churches decision, St. Stephen’s decision, not the host committee, not the NFL. It was our decision and that’s important to recognize,” Collison said.
St. Olaf Catholic Church six blocks away answered the call to become a temporary shelter.
“This particular need emerged and helping a neighbor is important especially when that work is providing shelter,” Coordinator of Social Ministry, Michael Griffin, said.
The Super Bowl Host Committee will cover the cost of any expenses incurred as a result of the move to a temporary location. The shelter will move for 4 nights, beginning the Thursday before the big game.