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Our History

People Incorporated opened its doors 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.

While we have no religious affiliations today, these groups opened the first of what would become a deep and diverse array of more than 60 innovative, creative, person-first mental health programs that help people lead healthier, happier lives over the next five decades. Today we’re working on shaping these programs into an open care network that closely examines every aspect of how we can help each person in the best way possible.

In 2019, we are celebrating our 50th anniversary, honoring our rich history and showing gratitude for our relationships with clients, donors, communities and partners, who made it possible to provide mental health services for a half century. Save the date for our 50th Anniversary event on October 4, 2019 at the Radisson Blu at the Mall of America.