About Life House Duluth
Our mission is to reconnect homeless and street youth to their dreams.
Incorporated in 1991, Life House has provided homeless youth ages 14 to 24 with unconditional support, transitional housing, and a safe alternative to navigating life circumstances that may lead to couch hopping or living on the streets. Life House serves approximately 900 unduplicated youth a year and we work with many young parents with children. In 1996, Life House opened the first transitional living facility for homeless youth in Minnesota.
Life House has over 40 full-time employees, which is comprised of a close-knit team of professionals working to lift up our young people. Our staff includes people with lived experiences, staff with credentials such as Licensed Clinical Social Workers, a License Alcohol and Drug Counselor, and a Licensed Teacher.
Life House strives to hire a diverse team of people with various backgrounds in regards to race, gender, age, LGBTQ+ identities and cultural backgrounds and traditions.
Cultural Humility Statement
Life House is committed to providing opportunities for learning and creating solutions that foster an organizational environment and youth programming where our differences and commonalities are supported and celebrated. Our approach is situated around compassionately caring about and thoughtfully integrating organizational policies, procedures, and youth programs grounded in equity, inclusion, and belonging.
In the early nineties, Life House’s founder asked her son why his friend hadn’t left their house after a sleep-over two days before. He answered, “Because he has nowhere else to go.” She decided to take action and figure out what was happening in Duluth. She initiated the creation of an organization that wholeheartedly supports youth and young families facing homelessness and trying to survive on a daily basis.
Life House works closely with young people walking through life transitions and provides a safe alternative to fleeing their environments, living on the streets, or feeling stuck and a sense of hopelessness in life.
Completed first Needs Assessment of homeless youth in Minnesota, providing outreach and access to basic needs for youth on the streets
Opened region’s first Drop-in Youth Center in Downtown Duluth; implemented our Housing Program, which provides case management for homeless youth
Opened first transitional living facility for homeless youth in Minnesota
Moved into Life House’s Building, increasing our Drop-in Youth Center space, and enhancing on-site supportive services to include mental health team members
Implemented the Futures Program to help youth overcome barriers to achieving self-sufficiency by providing on-site programming in education and employment
Created the Life House Lifeline, integrating access to basic needs with support services in five core areas: drop-in center, housing, health and wellness, education, and employment; developed our leasing program to provide scattered-site housing for homeless youth
Began our Street Outreach Program, identifying and providing homeless youth with basic needs and assistance in accessing emergency shelter, food and crisis services
Partnered with employers to provide job training/placement as part of Duluth at Work
Selected as one of four agencies statewide, under the Safe Harbor Act, to provide safe housing to sexually exploited and trafficked youth
Implemented Life Hacks program, providing incentive-based independent living skills classes – resulting in dramatically increased participation in Youth Center classes, support groups, and activities
Opened Sol House for survivors of sexual exploitation and/or human trafficking; expanded age range for supportive services – 14 to 24 years old
Started the transitional employment program, now called Legitimate Hustle, which provides in-house paid job training particularly through social entrepreneurship
Purchased the former Cooper’s Engraving Building to house Futures and the Legitimate Hustle Program; opened The Loft – a 10 bed emergency shelter for youth
Launched the Northern Lights Program, expansion of housing, case management and an after-care specialist for Safe Harbor young people.
Expanded our buildings to include the Imaginarium, which provides space for additional programming around integrative health and healing.
Board of Directors
Fond du Lac Human Services
IGO Legacy Hotel Group
Entrepreneur Dani Does Brows
Entrepreneur Rose From The Rough
Rue 48 Salon
University of Minnesota-Duluth
Fond du Lac Human Services