History

A century of care. A history of firsts.

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Missions Inc. Programs was orginally founded in 1895 as Union City Mission by a consortium of Minneapolis churches and business leaders. Its St. James Hotel and Mission in the Gateway district of downtown served as home for thousands of men who came to the city unemployed and homeless when their work in the Northwest ended each season.

In 1927, the organization expanded its services to include a working farm, known as Mission Farms, located on the north shore of Medicine Lake in Plymouth, Minnesota. The number of residents reached its peak during the years of the Great Depression, when so many were unemployed and homeless.

The first private chemical dependency treatment program in Minnesota was started by the organization in 1948, an outgrowth of the emerging Alcoholics Anonymous movement. During this time, Missions Inc. became a key participant in the development of the ‘Minnesota Model' for chemical dependency treatment. In the 1960s Missions Inc. discontinued its operations in Minneapolis.

Other pioneering programs followed, including the state's first skilled-care nursing facility for men in 1964, and the first detoxification center in 1978. In the early 1980s Missions Inc. initiated services for battered women and their children in Northwest Hennepin County, and in 2001, began the first transitional housing program for women in recovery in Ramsey County.

Today, Missions Inc. continues to evolve to meet many of the most urgent, yet often unacknowledged, social service needs. Our commitment to serve those who are most in need - with compassion and respect, always affirming the dignity and worth of each person-has endured for more than a century.