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Thrivent Action Team volunteers clean up for future Broadway Circle

Volunteers clean up site for future development project

Jill Schramm/MDN Thrivent Action Team volunteer Abby Haff carries a load of items from a motel room Saturday during cleanup of the grounds and buildings at 1901 S. Broadway, the site of the future Broadway Circle project.

Volunteers cleaned the grounds and removed salvageable items from buildings slated for demolition at the site of the Broadway Circle project Saturday.

The Broadway Circle project at 1901 S. Broadway will include 17 affordable housing units, a six-unit emergency shelter for families, the Lord’s Cupboard Food Pantry, the Welcome Table Cafe, a community garden and commercial space for the Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota program center and other businesses.

About 20 volunteers with a Thrivent Action Team were working Saturday morning to haul air conditioners, clothes racks, curtain poles and other items from a former motel and an outlet store or were picking up garbage, raking and painting. Salvageable items removed from buildings are being sold. Additional volunteers were expected as the day went on.

“It’s very ecumenical,” said Bethany Lutheran’s Rev. Gerald Roise, chairman of Minot’s Welcome Table and one of the lead workers. “We have more people of other faiths working here than Lutheran.”

Following the cleanup, the property will be mowed and the motel buildings demolished, said Bryan Quigley with LSSND, who was assisting with the cleanup. New construction will include the family shelter, affordable housing and a commercial kitchen attached to the existing restaurant building that has housed the Hibachi Buffet & Grill, which will continue to operate in the building.

Rent received from LSSND and businesses will help with operating costs.

“That’s an important piece of the puzzle because without that, we would be 100% depending on grants and donations,” Roise said.

“We hope to have a sustainable model,” Quigley added.

The City of Minot set aside $5.8 million in National Disaster Resilience Program funds to assist Lutheran Social Services Housing with construction of the shelter and housing. Other funding includes federal dollars through Souris Basin Planning Council and donations.

The shelter will include a place for local social service agencies to meet with clients.

“Our intent is to do more than put a roof over their heads. We want to make sure they are bettering their lives,” Roise said.

The Welcome Table and Lord’s Cupboard Food Pantry will locate in remodeled space in the existing restaurant building that will remain. They will continue serving the nutritional needs of the community’s vulnerable population through a pantry and new commercial kitchen in that location.

“We deeply respect and honor the seven soup kitchens that currently are operating. We are not intending to displace or duplicate what they are doing,” Roise said. “We intend it to complement what they are doing.”

The kitchen will serve meals on certain days, but those meals will be breakfasts or evening meals, which existing soup kitchens don’t offer.

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