Among the homeless who find their way to the Gospel Rescue Mission in Tucson, Ariz. are intelligent people who have lost their jobs, financial advisor John “Bart” Schannep says. “They suddenly just have no money,” he says. “There's a lot of ‘There but for the grace of God go I’ lessons you see there.”

He says the realization provides him with more passion for his work in helping clients avoid the financial pitfalls that can end in disaster. Nine years ago he started Schannep Investment Advisors, an RIA affiliated with First Allied Securities, with two friends, following stints at Dean Witter and later Piper Jaffray. Schannep, 50, was a branch manager at both shops, and he brings those leadership skills to his life outside the office.

Schannep is vice president of the Gospel Rescue Mission's board and recently stepped down from a three-year term as its president. During that time he led the mission on a $4 million project to expand services at its homeless shelter, which was turning away five to 25 women a night for lack of room. “It's difficult, because usually we're the last rung” on the social ladder, he says. “By the time you get to us, you've got nowhere else to go.”

Schannep personally negotiated to buy a run-down hotel, “two doors down from a strip joint,” for the mission's shelter expansion project. “Being a businessman helps a lot in non-profits,” he says. “In any kind of all-volunteer army, you have people who mean well but may or may not know beans about how to get things done.” Armed with multiple appraisals, he was able to bargain the hotel seller's price down. Schannep, who lives in nearby Oro Valley, knows his way around building issues from his work of seven years on the town's Board of Adjustments.

The mission's shelter project calls for renovating the existing hotel and adding a new building on the property for additional services. Work is expected to wrap up by the end of this year, Schannep says.

Firm: Schannep Investment Advisors/First Allied Securities

City: Tucson, Ariz.

Age: 50

Years as rep: 27

Years with current firm: 9

Production: $954,000

AUM: $100 million

Product mix: managed accounts, 75%; insurance, 15%; stocks, 5 %; bonds, 5%.

Designations, licenses: CWS, Series 7, 8, 63, 65, 66.