Welcome to the GIFTS Men's Shelter

Shelter Spirituality Hope

What exciting times here at GIFTS Men’s Shelter. It is an honor to have you visit our website.

This year, 2018, is about celebrating ALL God has done through His faithful servants. 10 years ago, this community answered His call to serve homeless men who were in need. Seasonal, evening shelter and food with a heaping, helping of love came first. God challenged us to do more so we began providing assistance with helping the men improve their situation by opening a Resource Center. Shortly after that we began providing our services year-round. There was more….last November we officially began providing ALL of our services under one roof. We are no longer a homeless, homeless shelter! Praise God!

Mother Teresa wrote, “I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that He will guide me to do what I’m supposed to do, what I can do. I used to pray for answers, but now I’m praying for strength. I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.” Our community is a living, breathing example of being the change we want to see in the world.

For the past six years I have had the privilege of watching lives change beyond my wildest dreams. I have seen men on their worst day be transformed during their time with GIFTS. I also have a front row seat to watch God work through our amazing volunteers. To be honest, I believe the lives of our volunteers are impacted just as much is the men they are helping.

If you know of someone who needs the services we offer, please give them our contact information. We are confident God has a purpose and a plan for their life. With your help, lives will be changed as HOPE is restored!

Peace,

Stephanie Burton, 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.

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

Stephanie Burton

Executive Director

director@gifts-shelter.org

Connie Olson

Men's Ministry Manager

connievinzolson@gmail.com

2018 GIFTS MEN'S SHELTER BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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

Brenda Thompson

Treasurer, Board Member Since 2012

Advantage Accounting Solutions, Beloit, WI

Kelly Sanchez

Secretary, Board Member Since 2018

Unity Point Health System Meriter, Madison, WI

Duane Albrecht

Board Member Since 2014

AMTEC Corporation, Janesville, WI

Kelli Cameron Board

Member Since 2015

Mercyhealth, Janesville, WI

Marna Bonnell

Board Member Since 2018

Mid-State Equipment

Matt McDonald

Board Member Since 2016

Agard and Lipker Dental, Janesville, WI

Charlie Ryan

Youth Representative

Craig High School

Deb Westby

Board Member Since 2015

Rock County, Janesville, WI

Leanne Yaucher

Board Member Since 2018

Consigny Law Firm, S.C., Janesville, WI

Joseph Murray Jr.

Board Member Since 2018

City of Beloit Fire Department, Beloit, 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.