Soup and Fry Bread

Ethnic groups call this fresh bread by different names and use ingredients of choice. Ours was simply a piece of bread dough cut from a mountain of raised dough stretched out to make a “pie” shape, then lovingly laid into hot oil, and browned on both sides which result in a piece of golden bread. A bit of drizzled sugar makes it delicious. For some reason this is always a big treat for the people at the shelter. Maybe it is because these guests represent all ethnic groups!

Continuing a ministry of providing hot meals to the guests at the Gladys Ray Shelter (GRS) Fargo, N.D., Sisters Maureen Nolan, Maura DeCrans, Josephine Brennan and Jan Ihli, along with fellow resident of Riverview Place, Selma Keller, fired up the kitchen once more with soup, salads, bars, chocolate pudding, peaches and fry bread. Since the GRS facility does not have cooking facilities, it depends on hot donated meals. Soup is always a winner.

This shelter was envisioned and begun by a Native American woman, Gladys Ray of Fargo, N.D. When she saw the great number of Veterans, Native Americans, both men and women, living on the streets, she determined to take action. Her facility became known as the Gladys Ray Shelter. She was on the teaching staff of Shanley Catholic High School and discovered that she and Sister Jane Walker were of the same ilk. Sister Jane was to begin our ministry to the homeless as Presentation Partners in Housing, which today has 15 hired staff and is responsible for having housed dozens and dozens of single persons and families. A BOND REMAINS. The sisters do not have a shelter to house overnight people. The GRS provides overnight or temporary housing.

The mission of the GRS is “to provide a safe, conformable temporary place to people who cannot access other shelter options in the community, and helps connect people to housing and services in a welcoming and non-judgmental environment.” GRH is able to accommodate 25 adult men and 10 adult women. It provides respite from the streets, provides basic needs, facilitates their move toward self-sufficiency, and addresses core issues of homelessness, including chemical dependency, mental health or disabilities.” The facility also provides a separate safe space where police can bring guests for detoxification. Forty to 60 guests are fed in one evening

Presentation Partners in Housing ministry works closely with other community agencies committed to the homeless and vulnerable.  To enhance the effectiveness of everyone’s efforts, the PPIH board of directors include representatives from some of these agencies.