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Life House

  • Life House
  • 102 W. First Street
  • Duluth , MN 55802
  • (218) 722-7431
  • 1991

Program Description

Incorporated in 1991, Life House has provided homeless and street youth ages 14 to 24 years old with unconditional support, transitional housing, and a safe alternative to the streets for 25 years. Life House serves approximately 900 unduplicated youth and additionally their young children annually. In 1996, Life House opened the first transitional living facility for homeless youth in Minnesota.

Our mission is to reconnect homeless and street youth to their dreams.

In 2005, Life House implemented the Futures Program to help youth overcome barriers to achieving self-sufficiency by providing on-site programming in education and employment. In 2009, the Life House began providing mental health services through the drop-in center. In 2013, Life House was selected as one of four agencies statewide, under the Safe Harbor Act, to provide safe housing to sexually exploited and trafficked minors.

The Life House staff of 40 full-time employees is comprised of a close-knit team of professionals including Licensed Clinical Social Workers, License Alcohol and Drug Counselor, licensed teachers, Masters and Bachelors of Social Work and Psychology as well as staff equally credentialed in the first-hand experience of homelessness. Life House strives to recruit a diverse team in terms of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and cultural backgrounds. Clients participate in the hiring process to ensure new staff possess the innate ability to relate to homeless and struggling youth.

Our Philosophies

Positive Youth Development: Life House utilizes the Positive Youth Development (PYD) theory of change when working with youth. At its core, PYD is about people, programs, institutions and systems that provide youth with the support and opportunities they need to empower themselves.

Harm Reduction: Rather than requiring sobriety as a pre-condition to program acceptance, Life House espouses a harm reduction approach, which focuses on keeping youth safe and alive while addressing the myriad conditions that promote substance abuse. Homeless youth use drugs to self-medicate; insisting or requiring sobriety in the absence of safe and stable housing and acceptable coping alternatives is, as a practical matter, a barrier to effective treatment.

Services Provided

  • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
  • Arts and cultural
  • Career exploration and counseling/internships
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College fairs/campus visits
  • College transition and retention support
  • Community service/service hours
  • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
  • Leadership development
  • Mentoring
  • Parent/family services
  • SAT/ACT and other test preparation

Demographics

Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 331
  • Middle School: 300
  • Elementary School: 300
  • Post-secondary: 0
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

  • Academically At-risk

First-Generation

  • Less than 25%