Just weeks after being forced to leave the Magnuson Hotel, the Homeless Angels purchase a new building in Lansing Township to help keep the homeless off the streets this winter.
By teaming up with Harvest House Ministries of Williamston, the Homeless Angels have purchased the Burkewood Inn off Lansing Road in Lansing Township.
Homeless Angels founder Mike Karl says he is excited the community funded hotel program is back. The doors will be open at the Inn soon. Karl says that could be as early as tomorrow, if he gets the official go ahead.
The space has 52 rooms. Karl says renovation will need to be done, and more money raised to make payments on the space. They are putting out a call for help from the community.
The programs that have made the Homeless Angels so popular will continue, like the street store where those in need can find everyday items. Karl says the plan is to start up a diaper bank to meet that need in the community.
Karl tells me the group is ready to get to work and that the Burkewood Inn will still be zoned as a public hotel.
The hope is that this is just the beginning. The idea is to spread the community hotel program to more communities in need. You can call in room credits at the Burkewood Inn at 517-487-9119, at $28 a day.
It has been a journey filled with hurdles.
In late August, the dozens of homeless families that used to live at the Magnuson Hotel in Lansing got word they needed to be out, so the owner could make renovations. It left many of them scrambling and worried about where to go next.
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero declared a housing emergency and took the hotel's owner to court. The city was granted more time to find housing for those living at the hotel.
Residents were ultimately out by late October.
The Magnuson's owner Alvin Peh filed a lawsuit in October, claiming the city violated his constitutional rights.
"My client did not create this problem," says the lawyer for the Magnuson's owners JoAnne Gurley, "he has tried to assist the community, but now it is time for the City of Lansing to take its head out of the sand and to step up."
The city has been securing housing for many families that were living at the Magnuson. Karl says 93 individuals now have permanent, sustainable housing.
For the Homeless Angels, the mission continues.
Click here to learn more about the Homeless Angels.