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 to address what was happening in Duluth.

Incorporated in 1991, Life House has provided homeless and at-risk youth with a safe alternative to the streets, transitional housing, and comprehensive support services:

1991completed first Needs Assessment of homeless youth in Minnesota, providing outreach and access to basic needs for youth on the streets

1992opened region’s first Youth Drop-in Center in downtown Duluth;  implemented our Housing Program, providing case management for homeless youth

1996 – opened first transitional living facility for homeless youth in Minnesota

2001 – moved into the Life House Building, increasing our Drop-in Center space, enhancing on-site supportive services to include mental health

2005 – implemented the Futures Program to help youth overcome barriers to achieving self-sufficiency by providing on-site programming in education and employment

2009 – created the Life House Lifeline, integrating access to basic needs with support services in five core areas: drop-in center, housing, education, employment, and health; developed our leasing program to provide scattered-site housing for homeless youth

2010 – began our Street Outreach Program, identifying and providing homeless youth with basic needs and assistance accessing emergency shelter, food and crisis services

2011 – partnered with employers to provide job training/placement as part of Duluth at Work

2013 – selected as one of four agencies statewide, under the Safe Harbor Act, to provide safe housing to sexually exploited and trafficked minors

2014 –  implemented Life Hacks program, providing incentive-based independent living skills classes – resulting in dramatically increased participation in Youth Center classes, support groups, and activities

2015 – opened Sol House for trafficked youth; expanded age range to serve ages 14 to 24

2016 – Life House’s 25th anniversary; opened West End Apartments for victims of domestic abuse

2017 – Started the transitional employment program, later called the Legitimate Hustle program, to provide in-house paid job training through social entrepreneurship

2018 – Purchased the former Cooper’s Engraving Building to house Futures and the Legitimate Hustle Program; opened The Loft – a 10 bed emergency shelter for teens

2020 – Launched the Northern Lights Program, expansion of housing, case management and an after-care specialist for trafficked young people.