Ministry Continues at Gladys Ray Shelter

Ministry Continues


Ethnic groups call this fresh bread by different names and use ingredients of choice. Ours is 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 resulting 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 Gladys Ray Shelter. Maybe it is because these guests represent so many ethnic groups!

Continuing a ministry of providing hot meals to the guests at the Gladys Ray Shelter (GRS), Fargo, ND, Sisters Maureen Nolan, Maura DeCrans, Josephine Brennan, Jan Ihli and fellow Riverview Place resident, Selma Keller, fire 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 with the forty to sixty guests present for an evening meal.

This shelter was begun by a Native American woman, Gladys Ray of Fargo, ND. When she saw the great number of veterans and Native Americans, both men and women, living on the streets, she was determined to take action. After her death the facility she envisioned became known as the Gladys Ray Shelter.

Ms. Ray was on the teaching staff of Shanley Catholic High School and discovered that she and Sister Jane Walker, former Shanley teacher and principal, were of the same ilk. Sister Jane for many years was the director of Presentation Partners in Housing (PPiH) which secures stable housing for the homeless and about-to-be homeless. The Sisters do not operate a shelter to house people overnight but there is a bond between local shelters such as GRS and other Presentation endeavors such as PPiH.

The mission of the GRS is “to provide a safe, comfortable 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.” GRS is able to accommodate 25 adult men and 10 adult women. Its aim is to provide “safe respite from the streets where people who are homeless can take care of basic human needs” and to help its guests move toward self- sufficiency. The facility also provides a separate safe space where police can bring guests for detoxification.

-Sister Jan Ihli, PBVM

See photos on our social media!