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Welcome to the GIFTS Men's Shelter

Shelter. Spirituality. Hope.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our website and learn more about GIFTS. Over the last 12 years, God has done miraculous things to get the ministry to where it is today. Through the incredible generosity of people like you, GIFTS has grown from a homeless-homeless ministry, traveling between churches week to week to house men, to becoming a state of the art facility that is able to serve, encourage, bless and help up to 40+ men a night. Our Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and donors have worked tirelessly over the years to be a shining light in the community of Janesville. 

The goal of GIFTS is to provide hope and healing through the love of Jesus Christ to men who have lost their way. As you read through the stories of our clients and begin to understand better how our ministry works, we hope that you will open your heart and your hands to the men who have made GIFTS their temporary home. At GIFTS, men are empowered by challenging their thinking and changing their attitudes. They learn to embrace the love of Jesus and move forward in their lives knowing that they are cared for and loved not only by our Heavenly Father but also by their GIFTS family.Our future is very bright and I’m excited to be a part of such an important ministry. Homelessness is a complicated issue but together we can make a difference in the lives of the amazing men who walk through our doors each and every day. And the only way we can continue doing what we do and expanding our ministry is through the commitment and partnership of people like you. Thank you again for taking the time to explore what we do and who we are. 

Have a blessed day,

John Koesema

GIFTS Executive Director

 


Mission

The mission of GIFTS is to show Christ’s love to homeless men in Rock County by advancing renewal and hope through a unified Christian effort.

Vision

To be a comprehensive, Christ-centered ministry providing the resources needed to transform and restore the lives of homeless men, one at a time.

Culture Statement

GIFTS is a loving, Christ-centered community focused on the holistic well-being of others while promoting spiritual, emotional, and physical growth.

CORE VALUES

Dependence on God

God is our provider and we depend on Him and not the government for our support.

Evangelism

The Gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to save and transform lives for the glory of God and we are not ashamed of it.

Restoration

We assist hurting individuals to restore broken relationships with God, family and others.

Accountability

We encourage personal responsibility and growth as opposed to enablement. We want to be a “hand up” not a “hand out”.

Integrity

We are faithful stewards of all God has given us and exercise honesty and wisdom in our decisions and conduct.

Safety

We do everything in our power to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all staff and residents, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Compassion

We show the love of Christ to those in need.

Collaboration

We work with our church partners and the resources they provide as well as other community partners that provide services to those in need.

MEET OUR STAFF


John Koesema

Executive Director

director@giftsshelter.org

 

Ken Swanson

Program Director

Programs@giftsshelter.org

Michael Ranum

Operations Director

Operations@giftsshelter.org

 

Brittany Ranum

Outreach and Development Manager

outreach@giftsshelter.org

 

Dave Ellis

Business Manager

Thrift@giftsshelter.org

 

Toni Ellis

Administrative Assistant

 

Wayne Mathews

Facilities Maintenance Manager

 

 

 

2020 GIFTS MEN'S SHELTER BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Matt Prestil

Chairperson, Board Member Since 2009

Old National Bank, Madison, WI

Marna Bonnell

Treasurer, Board Member Since 2018

Mid-state Equipment, Janesville, WI

Leanne Gray

Secretary, Board Member Since 2018

Angus Young, Janesville, WI

Duane Albrecht

Board Member Since 2014

AMTEC Corporation, Janesville, WI

Scott Fratianne

Board Member Since 2019

S&C Electric, Janesville, WI

Steve Servantez

Board Member Since 2019

Badger Veterinary, Janesville, WI

Richard Werner

Board Member Since 2020

Retired Rock County Courthouse, Janesville, WI

Sarah Hawthorne

Board Member Since 2020

Beloit Cares, Beloit, WI

Michael Schoeder

Board Member Since 2020

Old National Bank, Janesville, WI


John Koesema

Board Member Since 2020

GIFTS Men's Shelter, Janesville, WI

THE HISTORY OF GIFTS MEN'S SHELTER

First Meeting is held to address the unmet need in Janesville for men without shelter. Our Board of Directors began to ask numerous churches to join our cause. After gathering information from other shelters and local experts, it was determined that we would probably max out at 10 men.

Congregations were asked to share their space one week at a time, beginning with 20 inflatable mattresses. On December 24th, 2007 at St John Vianney Catholic Church, our Shelter was born, and our doors were opened. Four churches graciously agreed to continue providing shelter through April 2008.

The Shelter opened again in October. A group of volunteer mentors began assisting guests with resources to help them gain employment. Our A-Team was born. These mentors began to build relationships with many local organizations that would be able to assist our guests.

GIFTS held it’s first “Draft Party” to create, in one evening, a complete schedule for the entire upcoming season. 14 host sites and 15 partner churches participated covering from October through April (30 weeks). During this time, we borrowed a truck to transport supplies from place to place.

GIFTS was able to acquire our own trailer to transport cots, supplies and guests’ belongings from church to church.

Stephanie Burton was hired at the first, part-time executive director.

Resource Center opens to offer services during day time hours. The executive director position is made to be full-time.

In the Fall, Trinity Episcopal Church agrees to allow us to use basement space at Ortmyer Hall rent-free. Our Resource Center was now open Monday-Friday, 8am-1200. After settling in and appreciating the growth of our ministry, our property team began to look for a permanent location to house the Resource Center and potentially, the Shelter.

The Resource Center remained open after the Shelter closed in April. Assistance was offered to guests as we continued to improve the quality of our services.

In the Fall of 2014, the Resource Center hours were expanded, Monday-Friday, from 8am -5pm. Life improvement plans were being created for each guest. A-Team members and social workers continued to assist and connect guests with resources to help them obtain their goals. For the first time in shelter history, the demand exceeded our 25-person guest capacity and we now had to create a waiting list.

The property search team identified 1025 North Washington Street as a potential site for the future Resource Center and Shelter. Plans to pursue the property were made. The Board of Directors worked with The Timothy Group to develop a 3-year strategic plan for the ministry.

In the Summer of 2015, the Resource Center and the Shelter are open year-round. The property at 1025 North Washington begins the rezoning process. In October, the City Council approves the rezoning.

In October, we purchased the 1025 North Washington Street. In December, the Resource Center was moved to the property.

In June, renovations had begun to accommodate the building as both a Resource Center and a Shelter. The week of Thanksgiving, the Shelter was moved to the property. We were no longer a homeless homeless shelter and boy, we were thankful to have a place that could house our guests and services under one roof.

Beginnings Group Home blessed us with the 502 E. Holmes property to operate as our Life Recovery House.