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Welcome to the GIFTS Men's Shelter

Shelter. Spirituality. Hope.

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My involvement in GIFTS began in 2008.  After attending an introduction/kick-off luncheon about this new program, I stepped up to be the first coordinator for my Church, St. John Vianney in Janesville.  We had less than a month to put together our initial intake, sleeping and meal procedures but were able to do so for that first night and set the framework for procedures moving forward.  A year later, I was asked to join the Board of Directors which provided even greater opportunities to help form more of GIFTS policies and procedures.  Then in 2013, I was selected to be the Board Chairperson, a role that I continue to enjoy.  I have been blessed to assist in the growth of GIFTS including the establishment of our Resource Center and A-Team, the hiring of our first Executive Director, establishing all-day programming, acquiring our own building and transition house and overseeing a successful Capital Campaign.  There has never been a time where I have not felt excited and engaged about GIFTS.  I am confident that the future will provide many additional challenges and opportunities, including the opening of a Thrift Store.

This current time brings a wide array of concerns to our communities and our nation.  Please rest assured that everyone associated with GIFTS remains committed to managing through these times and keeping our programs moving forward.  We pray that all of you are staying safe and remember to keep our focus on our wonderful God.  He will get us through these challenges if we keep our faith uppermost in our minds and in our daily activities.  This season remains one filled with Faith, Hope and Rejoicing – let us never lose sight of this!

Thank you,

Matt Prestil, Board Chair


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.


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.


Dependence on God

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


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.


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


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


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


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


We show the love of Christ to those in need.


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


Chris Hedlund

Interim Executive Director

Michelle Borowski

Program Director


Brittany Ranum

Outreach Coordinator


Tim Borowski

Operations Manager / Chaplain


Dave Ellis

Business Manager




Matt Prestil

Chairperson, Board Member Since 2009

Old National Bank, Madison, WI

Dave Ellis

Vice Chairperson, Board Member Since 2014

Retired Allied Systems, Janesville 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

Member Since 2019

Janesville, WI

Steve Servantez

Board Member Since 2019

Badger Veterinary, Janesville, WI

Carrie Howard

Board Member Since 2019

Sarah Hawthorne

Board Member Since 2020

Beloit Cares, Beloit, WI

John Koesema

Board Member Since 2020

GIFTS Men's Shelter, Janesville, WI


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.