Maude Dornfeld, Executive Director
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Maude joined Life House in 2013 with a strong background in the non-profit sector – her most recent experience as the Community Education Coordinator for Safe Haven. She holds a MA in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, with a focus on domestic violence, sex offenders and juvenile delinquency and a certificate in nonprofit administration from the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
Ryan Irlbeck, Finance Director
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Ryan earned his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Ryan spent 10 years with Minneapolis-based Regis Corporation, most recently as Vice President of Operations. He is a former Certified Public Accountant and has served as the Finance Director for Animal Allies Humane Society and Community Action Duluth.
Shannon Hoffman, Development Director
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Shannon joined Life House in May 2014, and brings more than 10 years of nonprofit experience. Most recently, she was the Director of the Annual Fund at The College of St. Scholastica. She has a Masters in Public Administration, Nonprofit Management from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, she spent two years in Malawi, Africa with the Peace Corps.
Erich Lutz, Program Director
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Erich has extensive experience with supportive housing programs and services that assist homeless youth to achieve the skills necessary to obtain and maintain safe and affordable housing. Erich began his career at Life House in 2001 as the Transitional Services Case Manager. In 2009, he worked for the Human Development Center, providing intensive case management services to long-term homeless individuals and families in Duluth. Erich returned to Life House in 2010 as the Housing Lead and was promoted to Program Director in 2014. Erich is considered the area’s expert in housing policy and regulations.
Ahna Pelto, LSW, Youth Center Manager
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Ahna graduated from the University of Wisconsin Superior with a B.S. in Social Work in 2010. Ahna started at Life House in October 2011 as a Youth Center Advocate and then transitioned into Youth Center Lead until 2014 when she was promoted to Youth Center Manager. Prior to working at Life House, Ahna worked with children & young adults in the Duluth community through volunteering projects, interning as an Alcohol and Drug Intervention Specialist with the Duluth Public Schools, and working with individuals who have developmental disabilities.
Gabe Mayfield, Youth Specialist/Activities Coordinator
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Gabe graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Superior in 2001 and has extensive community involvement—from the Lyric Opera of the North to the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial. He has been a Crew Leader and Program Manager for Duluth Stream Corps, but is passionate about basketball and the arts. He shares those passions here at Life House as the Activities Coordinator, taking youth to the YMCA for basketball or teaching weekly song writing classes.
Chenoa Williams, Youth Specialist/Street Outreach Coordinator
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Chenoa graduated from University of Wisconsin, Superior in 2013 earning a multidisciplinary BS in Anthropology, Philosophy, Art and Library Science. She brings a strong background in multicultural communication and has experience navigating the barriers of poverty and generational poverty. Prior to joining us at Life House, she was a Contemporary Native American Beadwork Instructor at AICHO.
Allie McDevitt, Youth Specialist/Resources Coordinator
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Allie graduated from University of Wisconsin, Superior earning a B.A. in Social Work. She was an intern with Life House before she took on the position of the Youth Center Specialist. Allie has always had a passion to work with at-risk-youth, uplifting those around her. As a Youth Center Specialist, she may assist youth in obtaining necessary identification. Outside of work, Allie is an accomplished athlete, excelling in soccer and basketball.
Eric Goetz, Housing Program Manager
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Eric earned a B.A. in Social Work from The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota. He joined Life House in 2012 as the Employment Case Manager. Shortly thereafter Eric transitioned over to the Housing Program as a Transitional Housing Case Manager/Intake Specialist. In 2014 Eric was promoted to Housing Program Manager where he’s responsible for the oversight of all the Life House Supportive Housing Programs as well as administering homeless and prevention crisis funding.
Michael Hartley, Sol House On-Site Youth Advocate
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Michael joins Life House with more than 10 years of experience in advocacy and outreach work with youth and American Indian people. He has worked with youth who have experienced sexual abuse and domestic violence, who are homeless, who are suffering from malnutrition. Currently, Michael has an Associates in Science and is working towards his BA in American Indian Studies.
Ericka Holtz, Sol House On-Site Youth Advocate
(218) 722-7431 x25
Ericka graduated from University of Wisconsin-Superior in 2015, earning a BS in Social Work. She joined Life House in 2014 as an intern in the Youth Center, working alongside our Youth Center staff to put her classwork into practice. She has a long history of volunteer and service commitments in the Twin Ports community and a deep passion for working with homeless and street youth.
Rebecca Lester, Sol House On-Site Youth Advocate
(218) 722-7431 x25
Rebecca (Becca) graduated from University of Minnesota, Duluth with a double major in Women’s Studies and American Indian Studies in 2012. She has been a long-time advocate for social justice and women’s issues, volunteering for a variety of organizations in the Twin Ports (including PAVSA, Seeds of Success, Girl Power!, and others).
Tarra Lind, Sol House On-Site Youth Advocate
(218) 722-7431 x25
Tarra is a Native American lesbian who is a descendant of the Fond Du Lac Band of Ojibwe. She brings her own healing from family domestic violence, sexual violence, youth homelessness, and the foster care system experience. She most recently was a Resident Assistant for two years for San Marco, advocating on behalf of the men and women who were chronically alcoholic and residing there, assuring they were safe and secure. This last year Tarra became a Program Assistant through Duluth Regional Care Center (DRCC) working with Developmentally Disabled elderly adults.
Jessica Mantor, Safe Harbor Program Manager
(218) 722-7431 x25
Jessica joined the Life House team in January of 2014 as a Housing Case Manager and recently transitioned to the role of Safe Harbor Program Manager. Jessica is responsible for the oversight of an emergency shelter program as well as Sol House, a transitional living program for teens who’ve been sexually exploited or trafficked. Jessica holds a degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. While pursuing her degree, she taught Chemical Dependency Education and interned as a Youth Care Counselor at Woodland Hills residential treatment program. Prior to joining Life House, Jessica most recently worked with Lutheran Social Service as a Street Outreach Worker. Additionally, she has more than ten years’ management experience in the private sector.
Amanda Penley, Housing Case Manager
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Amanda joined the Life House staff in 2015 as a Housing Case Manager. Amanda earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University in 2009. Her work experience with adolescents includes Mental Health and Chemical Dependency counseling in both residential and day treatment programs. Amanda’s expertise includes the planning and facilitation of skill-based groups, intake & assessment, and behavior management. Recently, she has taken on a larger role at Life House as the Intake Specialist, completing intakes and assessments of all homeless youth, ages 14-24, seeking housing services in St. Louis County.
Jennifer Salo, Housing Case Manager
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Jenn joined the Life House team in 2013. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Superior in 2007 with a MA in Art Therapy. She studied child development and Psychology as an undergraduate and received her BS in Art Therapy with a minor in Psychology. Jenn has worked in the health-care field with at-risk youth and adults for 15 years. She has a deep passion for working with children and young adults who have experienced family violence in all its forms; to help them heal through art and advocacy. She enjoys creating her own art, reading, and spending time outdoors with family and friends.
Holly Samuelson, Sol House On-Site Youth Advocate
(218) 722-7431 x25
Holly graduated from The College of St. Scholastica in 2006 with a BA in Social Work. She has a history with Life House, working as the Leasing Program Case Manager and the Futures Employment Case Manager from 2009-2012. We are glad to have her back, this time working with the teens at Sol House.
Julie Flint, MSW, LICSW, Mental Health Professional
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Julie is a 2007 MSW graduate of University of Minnesota, Duluth. She went on to earn her LICSW in April 2010. As a licensed clinical social worker, Flint has extensive experience counseling at-risk youth. Prior to joining Life House, Flint worked at North Homes Children and Family Services as a Certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (TF-CBT).
Heather Brennan, LADC, Wellness Case Manager
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Heather graduated from University of Wisconsin, Superior in 1997 with a BS in Psychology and Sociology. She has recently completed the coursework to become a License Drug and Alcohol Counselor (LADC) and will sit for the exam in the coming months. She has more than 15 years of case management experience with at-risk youth and most recently worked as a Case Manager at North Homes Children and Family Services.
Jennifer Keuten, Transitional Assertive Community Treatment (T-ACT) Case Manager
Futures Education & Employment
Kyle Naalsund, Futures Program Manager/Education Case Manager
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Kyle graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Superior in 1998 with a BS in Secondary Education, Mathematics. He has more than 12 years’ experience working with youth ages 13 – 21, specializing in at-risk and homeless youth. He is responsible for integrating and expanding the education and employment programs to assist youth in becoming self-sufficient. Prior to joining Life House, Naalsund taught mathematics at Denfeld High School.
Luke Morcomb, MSW, Futures Employment Case Manager
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Morcomb recently completed his MSW at University of Minnesota, Duluth and has many years’ experience working with youth. Most recently he was a Street Outreach Worker at Lutheran Social Service but has also served Mentor Duluth through TrueNorth AmericCorps and has a long volunteer history. As the Employment Case Manager, he will work to assist youth to find and maintain work through job coaching, skills training, and placement services.