To Jim Roos, bringing decent housing to St. Louis’ poor is a ministry, a way to provide for the community.
After graduating from Concordia Seminary, Jim started an inner-city property management company called Neighborhood Enterprises, Inc. (NEI). Since the 1970s, NEI has provided low-income residents of St. Louis with decent affordable housing, managing more than 200 rental units in 60-plus buildings for many different owners. One of those owners is Jim’s own non-profit housing and community development corporation, Sanctuary In The Ordinary (SITO), formed in 1990. The idea behind SITO is to provide a “sanctuary”—a safe place for people of modest means to call home.
In a double blow to free speech and property rights, St. Louis not only threatened to take an entire neighborhood for private development. It also tried to censor a powerful mural that protests the city’s…