2023 Annual Report

2023 Annual Report

Letter from the President

In recent years I have referred to Lutheran Social Service of MN (LSS) as being more than an organization. Rather, LSS is a movement of 25,000 – 2,500 employees, 10,000 volunteers, and 12,500 supporters – all of whom are critically important to the support of individuals and families seeking to change their own lives and achieve their own dreams.

As I reflect on this, the 158th year of the LSS movement, I am pleased to share that 2023 has been a year of blessings, strength, and growth.

And for me, more miles!

After reduced travel due to heightened safety procedures during the peak of the pandemic, I was able to visit more service sites and host more ‘listening sessions’ in 2023 than in any recent year. What a joy it is to listen to employees, volunteers, and the individuals and families we serve in communities across Minnesota and North Dakota.

The work of LSS is a mosaic of amazing acts of caring and courage in communities everywhere. I’d like to share a little of what I’ve been blessed to experience in my 2023 travels. 

In Northwest Minnesota and North Dakota, I met with LSS team members who provide mental health counseling to individuals, families, children and veterans, as well as to juveniles changing their lives as they await their exit from the criminal justice system. I also visited with LSS teams supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities. It was fun to chat with the individuals supported as they seek to live their best lives by living and working in communities of their choosing.

In Central and Northern Minnesota, I attended the grand opening of the Fischer Cabin at Camp Knutson – a welcoming, inclusive camp for individuals with identified needs. Later I was honored to meet with team members providing services at the LSS youth resource center in St. Cloud, Pathways 4 Youth. The center provides services to unhoused youth seeking safe homes, employment resources, behavioral health, and financial counseling.

More than 91,000 families and individuals served by LSS in 2023

In Northeast Minnesota, I was able to see first-hand the amazing resilience and courage of those served by LSS Bethany, which provides emergency shelter care and family resources. LSS Bethany dovetails beautifully with other LSS services – such as our services for youth at the LSS Center for Changing Lives in Duluth.

In Southeast Minnesota, I met with our LSS Meals team. The team is helping address hunger and food insecurity among both older adults and children by distributing nutritious meals from the new LSS production kitchen in Red Wing. 

In Southwest Minnesota, the older adult services team and LSS volunteers were providing nutritious meals at congregate sites. Additionally, busy volunteers were serving in Caregiver Respite and Companion services, all of which enable older adults to remain socially connected and thriving.

In the metro area, I attended the groundbreaking for a new LSS Families Together therapeutic preschool on St. Paul’s East Side. Located at Grace Lutheran Church, the preschool’s construction is made possible by the leadership and generosity of the St. Paul Area Synod of the ELCA. We are excited by what the LSS Families Together services will mean for the children and families of the East Side, and we are grateful for our partnership with Grace Lutheran.

At the LSS Center for Changing Lives in Minneapolis, I visited with those receiving services such as Housing, Employment, Financial Counseling, Foster Care, Adoption, Supported Decision-Making, and Care Coordination. Our resettlement services were particularly busy this year helping refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine find employment, housing, and connection in community.

And in every area of the state, LSS teams were providing statewide services for children and individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

I am grateful to everyone engaged in the LSS movement. And I am thankful for each person who plays their own part in creating the LSS mosaic. A mosaic of sometimes small – and sometimes large – acts of kindness and love of neighbor.

Thanks to so many, 2023 was a year of continued growth and strength. And the road ahead is bright and filled with even greater things to come!

In gratitude,

Patrick Thueson signature




Patrick Thueson