Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Selected As A State Community Hub

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota was selected to serve as one of nine, federally-funded Community Resource Hubs to help pregnant and parenting families with young children navigate Minnesota’s early childhood services. Hubs will shift the burden of finding help from those seeking services to organizations that connect them with the supports they need.

“We’re honored to be selected to serve as a Community Resource Hub,” said Karen Kingsley, senior director with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. “We know that creating better ways for families to connect to resources will improve family stability and child wellbeing and strengthen our communities in the future.”

Minnesota received a three-year, $26.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help remove barriers and more effectively connect families to life-changing early childhood programs. Goals include improving health and wellbeing outcomes for children, and prioritizing support for families of color and American Indians. The project will also test Help Me Connect, a new and centralized system that directly connects families and those working with them to resources.

Through Lutheran Social Service, three lines of service that provide youth and family support, help with housing stability and support to refugees will combine efforts to partner with families through this initiative. Services will be culturally-sensitive as families determine the support they need to ensure their children thrive.

While Community Resource Hubs through Lutheran Social Service will be physically located in Brainerd, Duluth, Minneapolis, St. Paul and Willmar – services will be virtual until offices open to serve Minnesotans in person. Hubs will focus on kinship caregivers, refugees, families at risk of homelessness and others who need support.

Investing in local hubs allows Minnesota to build on solutions that are already working. “These organizations are already doing great work connecting families to resources,” said Lisa Bayley, acting assistant commissioner for Children and Family Services at the Department of Human Services. “These funds will help expand their services so they can reach even more families in their region.”