Sanctuary In The Ordinary

Affordable Housing and Healthy Community Rebirth
Saving houses and homes before they are lost to neglect or gentrification

SITO's Mission
The mission is to strengthen people and neighborhoods by efficiently revitalizing and then compassionately managing dignified rental housing for low-income residents. We seek to meet the housing needs of the city's current residents where they are and to conserve sound housing where it exists.​

Our Partnership

Sanctuary IN the Ordinary and JP share a deep bond formed over decades of friendship. The visionary leaders, Jim Roos, CEO of Sanctuary IN the Ordinary, and Robert Boyle, Founder of Justine PETERSEN, have worked closely together and developed a strong personal connection over the years.  Jeff Buck emerged as a key figure, completing the puzzle. In 2022, Jeff's dedication to SITO's mission, action, and activism became increasingly clear, marking a crucial turning point in his journey. Faced with a decision at a crossroads, Jeff contemplated whether to continue independently or respond to Robert Boyle's suggestion of closer collaboration, characterized by his infectious smile and unwavering optimism.

Soon, the synergy between these individuals, and outstanding organizations became undeniably clear. In August 2023, their discussions became serious, laying the foundation for a transformative partnership. In January 2024, SITO Became an affiliate of JP, uniting their shared vision of "Transforming Lives and Providing a Dignified Place to Live" and "Building Assets" to create significant change together.  The two organizations are not only stabilizing lives, but also empowering individuals, embodying the principles of change, and dignity.


In 1989, our founder, Jim Roos, saw a billboard near Forest Park advertising a new luxury housing community as "Sanctuary from the Ordinary." 

He was immediately struck that the safe, affordable, newly-renovated housing of his non-profit was a SANCTUARY IN the ORDINARY...

....a place in the ordinary neighborhoods of St. Louis that families could call home.

SITO's 4-Point Strategy

We are committed to a four-point strategy to maximize the impact of our mission.

1. Retain and repair existing housing
The current approach to creating affordable housing through new construction and gut rehab is costly and time-consuming. An alternative, cost-effective approach is to identify distressed but sound multi-family apartment buildings for quick, dignified renovation using selective rehab. SITO's experience enables us to select suitable buildings and neighborhoods for this method for the selective rehab method.

2. Use Selective Rehab

Selective Rehab is a method where we carefully evaluate a property to determine the necessary work, rather than completely renovating it. Typically, we focus on replacing windows, and doors, adding insulation for energy efficiency, and repairing or replacing kitchens, bathrooms, ceilings, walls, and floors. We also check and repair mechanical systems and improve the exterior and grounds. This approach results in clean, safe, and energy-efficient apartments, completed in four to six months for $40,000 to $80,000 per unit, which is faster and more cost-effective than full renovation or new construction.

3. Utilize a novel financing approach, which makes selective rehab possible
Historically, securing financing for affordable housing rehab has been difficult. Banks only lend up to 75% of the building's value to non-profits. SITO uses donations and 10-year interest-free loans to bridge the gap. After 10 years, accrued equity enables SITO to repay the loans and offer affordable rents without requiring ongoing subsidies.

4. Promote the use and funding of Selective Rehab by additional non-profits
Sanctuary IN the Ordinary cannot rehab all the viable properties in St. Louis on its own. Therefore, we also advocate for this strategy and encourage other non-profits to learn from SITO’s success. Having many non-profits using this approach can be a powerful force for change in St. Louis. Non-profits prioritize more than just the bottom line. They, like SITO, can help mitigate rent increases more effectively than private owners and see the value of maintaining clean, green, and safe surrounding areas.

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Meet Our SITO Staff