Frank served as an altar boy as a child and skipped meals regularly so the food could be given to the poor. As an adult, he restored cars to give to nieces and nephews and led addiction recovery groups at treatment centers across the Twin Cities. Then, he became the one in need of generosity and grace—something he found in Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities’ (UGMTC) Housing Plus program.

“Housing Plus is for guys like
me who are in a jam. I was
in trouble, and there it was.”

A serious medical condition ended Frank’s career as a cook in downtown Minneapolis. No longer able to pay rent and other expenses, Frank moved in with his brother’s family until he could find an affordable place of his own.

“I felt bad about living with family, and missed my independence,” Frank said. “My doctor gave me information on social services, so I called a lot of places. This was the last facility I got a hold of. I talked to a man at the Mission who told me about the programs and said to come when I was ready.”

Frank was struck by the kindness of each person he encountered at UGMTC. “I came to campus in February. I parked in the handicapped place, and a young women came out and asked what I needed. She helped me right away. Then the guys that helped me get into the dorms put me on the bottom bunk because they didn’t want me climbing with my medical condition. They were already looking out for me.”

After a brief stay in UGMTC’s dorms, Frank moved into an individual Housing Plus program room—available for a minimal monthly fee. “Housing Plus is for guys like me who are in a jam. When I was in trouble, there it was—praise God!”
“My family was able to help me to a point. And when I came here, it was like the people here became my family. They cared for me and looked out for me.”
Resources offered to men staying at UGMTC have also blessed Frank. “I was surprised to learn the Mission provides three meals a day, has a place for men to clean up, and supplies you with whatever you need. There’s even a place to get clothes, boots, gloves, and anything else needed. I didn’t know places like this existed.”

Housing Plus participants are required to attend church regularly or enroll in a support group outside the Mission. Frank found a church in downtown St. Paul that he attends every Sunday. He also goes to weekly Bible study and life-skills classes as part of his Housing Plus requirement. “Being able to go to the Bible studies—I like it. And it’s what these guys need. You need to learn to care about each other. You need to care about yourself.”

Frank is saving money for future independent living. “We’re allowed to stay two years, but I hope to get an apartment before that.”

In the meantime, he continues to live a life of service and generosity. In his brief time at UGMTC, he has become someone other residents and shelter guests talk to. “I feel good about that—just helping somebody else and giving them encouragement.” Frank also donated his electric guitar and amp to the Mission.
“I played my guitar until I developed neuropathy. I decided to give it to the Chapel because I feel so appreciative. I thank God for bringing me here. It’s such a beautiful place.”