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Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and Lifetrack announce plans to merge

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) and Lifetrack this month announced their intent to merge on July 1, 2021.

On Jan. 1, 2019, Lifetrack began a management services agreement with Lutheran Social Service that enabled Lifetrack to improve financial stability, share resources and continue its mission to strengthen resiliency in families. On July 1, Lifetrack will begin service delivery as Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, according to a press release.

“We’ve appreciated the expertise that Lutheran Social Service has shared to sustain our operations and focus on future growth,” said Wayne Jarvis, Lifetrack’s board chair. “We see tremendous opportunity ahead to continue operational efficiencies and expand our services to serve more Minnesotans in more communities in the years ahead.”

Lifetrack was established in 1948 as the St. Paul Rehabilitation Center, responding to the needs of individuals disabled by polio and by military service during World War II.  Today, Lifetrack offers Families Together, which combines home visiting services and a therapeutic preschool in St. Paul, employment services, and deaf and hard of hearing services that are offered across Minnesota.

The $4 million organization employs 83 staff who will become employees of Lutheran Social Service, a 156-year-old organization with an annual budget of $175 million, 2,500 employees and 10,000 volunteers that support one in 65 Minnesotans each year.

“I am grateful to Lifetrack board members, employees and supporters for their deep dedication to this important work,” said Patrick Thueson, chief executive officer of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. “We’re impressed by the high-quality services provided by Lifetrack and look forward to growing them through innovation and synergies with LSS services to help more Minnesotans live full and abundant lives.”

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota began in 1865 when a Lutheran pastor and his congregation opened an orphanage for children near Red Wing in southeasternMinnesota. Through its mission to inspire hope, change lives and build community, the organization seeks to foster safe and supportive homes for children, restore health and wellness in families, empower people with disabilities to live the lives they imagine, and promote health, independence and quality of life for older adults.