"Through all these years and changes in leadership, location and style of helping with The Five S’s [shelter, soap, soup, sleep and salvation], the focus has remained the same: To honor and proclaim the name of Jesus and continue to focus on the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. It’s a winning combination every time."
-Dr. Orval Moren
1926: Gateway Gospel Mission is founded by Ole Olsen as a rescue mission at 111 Nicollet Avenue. Here, men could receive a meal and a floor mat for sleeping. Their only “cost” was to attend a Gospel service. Ole had been a sailor and had opened a similar mission not long before in Duluth. During this time and throughout the Depression men who worked on railroads, lumber yards, and corn milling would hop off the rails into the Gateway District of Minneapolis. When the seasons changed, the men stayed in flop houses and most spent all of their unemployment check on alcohol.
1950: Gateway Gospel Mission becomes incorporated as a 501c3. Students from the Lutheran Bible Institute begin ministering at the mission, including Orval and Bernell Moren, who would become life-long supporters of MetroHope. Together with friends, they volunteered to help with the service offered to men who came looking for what Orval calls The Five S’s: shelter, soap, soup, sleep and salvation.
Orval’s personal interest in addiction recovery developed after experiencing his father’s own struggle with alcoholism. After receiving his degree in Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Orval helped his father eventually gain sobriety and break the family cycle of addiction.
1954-1961: In 1954 the city of Minneapolis approved the Urban Renewal Act whose goal was to rid the city of its "slums". Approximately one third of the Gateway District was flattened and turned into a parking lot.
The Morens and many others continue to serve at Gateway Gospel Mission through many transitions including a name change, two locations changes and multiple changes in leadership.
1961: With a new name and a new building New Hope Center becomes the first residential Christian recovery ministry in the Upper Midwest. The building to the right, 212 S Eleventh Avenue, had ironically been the headquarters of the most lucrative brothel system in the city until 1911 and still stands today.
1996: The ministry expands and moves to its current location at 2739 Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. We are blessed to house up to 53 men in our program and continue doing the same thing we have for 90 years -- share the Gospel with alcoholics and addicts while meeting their basic needs.
2006: Thanks to an anonymous building donor, Healing House opens for women and children; the only long-term residential center of its kind in Minnesota! Healing House serves up to 20 women and 24 children and is a program we hope to see thrive for its own 90 years!