People Incorporated got its start in 1969 when a St. Paul minister, Rev. Harry Maghakian, noticed that a residence next to his church was sheltering a number of otherwise homeless men.
Many were veterans from World War II and Korea, and it was clear that many were masking symptoms of a mental illness with alcohol or drugs. Maghakian’s congregation began to offer these men a place in their church to come for coffee and snacks, and soon this grew to Thanksgiving and holiday meals and other special occasions.
At the time there were few organizations in the Twin Cities serving people with mental illness, and Maghakian’s church soon joined with five other congregations to found an organization that eventually became known as People Incorporated. We now do not have any religious affiliations.
We now serve over 15,000 clients per year through more than 60 programs throughout the Twin Cities metro area and beyond, with an annual budget of approximately $50 million.