LSS, Longtime Youth Services Leader in Minnesota, to Operate Pathways 4 Youth

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) is pleased to announce they will assume management and operations of Pathways 4 Youth, a program founded by the St. Cloud Rotary Foundation (SCRF) in 2018. Lutheran Social Service is a statewide leader in youth services whose 155-year mission began with children.

“The Rotary sought an experienced leader in providing youth services, and we believe we found the right organization to advance Pathways to the next phase of development and enhance the important work that the Rotary and Rotaract clubs of the St. Cloud area started three years ago with the youth resource center,” said Rotarian Tim Wensman, who has provided leadership as Board Chair and President of Pathways 4 Youth. “Pathways will be in the hands of a trusted organization with a track record of helping youth experiencing homelessness find safe and supportive housing, grow in their lives and become contributing members of their community.”

The Pathways 4 Youth resource center serves youth ages 16 to 24 who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The center provides case management, computer access, connection to career employment and education opportunities, wellness referrals, showers, laundry, food and hygiene items.

Lutheran Social Service began its work supporting youth at risk of homelessness in St. Paul in the early 1980s. Today, in seven regional communities statewide, Lutheran Social Service provides street outreach, help with basic needs, case management, emergency shelter, life skills training and supportive housing.

“We’re so impressed by the St. Cloud Rotary Foundation for their vision, the strength of their service design and amazing community support they’ve garnered for Pathways 4 Youth in a very short period of time,” said Patrick Thueson, CEO of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. “We’re honored to continue this important work and partner with the St. Cloud community to bring our team’s experience, compassion and dedication to youth who need stable housing and support to get on their feet.”

Statewide, Lutheran Social Service supports one in 65 Minnesotans including children, youth and families, people with disabilities and older adults through a variety of services. In St. Cloud, those services include adoption and foster care, housing services, behavioral health services, guardianship options, pooled trust services, refugee services, a crisis nursery, youth intervention services and sex trafficking prevention.

Pathways’ youth resource center will continue to operate out of the Central MN Youth For Christ building, 203 Cooper Avenue North, Suite 260 in St. Cloud. The center is available primarily by appointment due to COVID-19 precautions from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Lutheran Social Service will be hiring two full-time employees to support services.

The Rotary Foundation previously worked with Catholic Charities through a management agreement to provide staffing and other services. A Catholic Charities caseworker will continue partnering with LSS to help youth at the resource center.