The Origin: 1969-2018
In 1969, during his seminary internship in inner-city Cincinnati, Jim Roos decided he needed an alternative to being a parish pastor. In 1971 he formed Neighborhood Enterprises, Inc., to repair and manage lower cost rental housing. In 1990 he formed Sanctuary in the Ordinary, a nonprofit organization (NPO) to own buildings and share the ministry work. He chose the name after seeing a billboard advertise expensive houses as a sanctuary from the ordinary, in Wildwood, MO. SITO was active until 2018, at which time it sold or donated its buildings to Lutheran Development Group and transferred its private financing to Justine PETERSEN.
Reflection and Rebirth:
In 2019-2020, Jim Roos and Jim Lutz, who had retired after 30 years with St. Louis NPOs, met with bankers and with government and private housing and service providers, to discuss what entity, financing, and plan could scale up what NE and SITO had done since 1971. With advice from Peter Werwath, retired after 30 years with Enterprise Foundation, from Gretchen Henn, a retired consultant to NPOs, and from the SITO board, Roos and Lutz devised the current business plan and strategy.