As Magnuson doors close, Homeless Angels opens doors of new hotel

(WLNS) – The Homeless Angels will soon have a new home of its own, just days after the Magnuson Hotel removed the final residents.

In August the owner of the Magnuson Hotel in Lansing evicted more than 100 people living there, and tenants and Homeless Angels volunteers have been in flux ever since.

Homeless Angels are getting a new home at Burkwood Inn in Lansing Township, and while founder Mike Karl is excited and working to get the place into shape to open, some city officials aren’t sure it’s the right move.

As one door closes, now another opens.

“It feels amazing to be able to help people and know that we will have a place to come,” Karl said.

Karl is ready to continue the work he started at the Magnuson, now at the Burkwood Inn.

But as one messy situation ended this news comes as a shock to one city official who’s worked closely with Karl and the Magnuson Hotel through the eviction process.

“I was coming off of a high from ‘we made it!’ to…what the?” Lansing Human Relations Director Joan Jackson Johnson said.

Jackson-Johnson says while the homeless did  have a roof over their heads at the Magnuson, it was in deplorable conditions and its residents weren’t moving forward.

“You have to start with A and start moving your way to Z,” Jackson explained. “Z to me means self sufficient, is permanently housed someplace and is improving the quality of that person’s life”.

But Karl says that won’t happen again, since he can be fully involved in this new hotel and as part owner he says he can ensure a different outcome.

“We want to make sure that this is a safe, clean, healthy environment,” Karl said.

The Inn has been the site of multiple shootings, but Karl says the former regulations and standards will change now that Homeless Angels is taking over.

“We do not want drugs, prostitution, hourly rentals, that won’t happen”.

Still, Jackson-Johnson has concerns that this new beginning, could have a similar end as the Magnuson.

Karl says city officials, contractors and inspectors will go through the hotel to make sure its up to code and safe before it officially opens to Homeless Angels, and he hopes for that to be in the next month.

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