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Last Page: Fraser Ltd.

Photos Courtesy of Fraser Ltd.

A pillar in our community, Fraser Ltd. is celebrating 125 years servicing the Fargo-Moorhead area. It is currently the longest-serving non-profit in the state of North Dakota. Their mission is to support children, youth and adults on their life’s journey towards independence.”We believe every person is an individual who should be given an opportunity to make choices in life which affords them the dignity of risk and the opportunity to contribute to society,” said Sandra Leyland, the CEO and President of Fraser.

So, how does Fraser do this? While they accomplish their mission through a multitude of means, it comes primarily through housing opportunities. “Fraser, Ltd.’s housing opportunities and independent living case management provide the foundation for all children, at-risk youth and developmentally disabled adults to build their lives,” said Leyland. “Through person-centered planning, we teach the basic skills necessary for individuals to live independently and learn to make good choices.”

Fraser provides services for people of all ages in their journey towards independence. “We provide services to individuals age six weeks to end of life. Our passion is deep and the scope of the need is broad, but our mission remains unchanging,” Leyland said. “We are currently focused on a five-year plan to complete the relocation of our Stepping Stones Resource Center for youth at risk and the additional housing opportunities needed to support them.”

However, there is no shortage of challenges and needs for Fraser. Leyland identifies the need for permanent housing and identifying those who need support.

“Permanent supportive housing, like the Butler House, renovated in 2014, along with transitional housing opportunities for youth is a tremendous need in our community. Being proactive on the front end by providing a home to youth without family or meeting the emotional supports often lacking, can open many doors in their future,” she said. “Collaborating with other providers is key in identifying at-risk youth. Youth at risk of homelessness, incarceration, trafficking, and addiction are skilled at flying under the radar and are often referred to as the unseen population. But through the accomplished efforts of our case management staff; we see them or they find us.”

Despite being around for 125 years, Fraser still sets lofty goals for their organization. “To meet these needs we have set financial goals and identified in-kind needs now and for the future. Fraser Ltd. is no longer a grassroots organization and we need to secure our ability to fulfill our commitment to service. We recently formed The Fraser Foundation to assist us in continuing our work into the future,” Leyland said. “On the immediate horizon, however, and over the next three years is a 4 million goal to complete work started to provide homes and increase case management efforts for our community’s youth. Another $500,000 McNair challenge kicks off this effort.”

None of this can be accomplished without the support of our community. Leyland says Fraser is lucky to have had great backing by those in our region.

“Our organization has persevered and helped our clientele succeed for many years because of the humanity found in the Fargo + Moorhead + West Fargo communities. Volunteer time and talent is always appreciated,” she said. “Our scope of service is broad and so are the volunteer opportunities. And of course, we are not shy about asking for financial support to meet our goals. No gift is too small. We have been blessed with major gifts but this need touches all of us and your support in any capacity will make a difference.”

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Written by Brady Drake

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