Minnesota Lutheran Social Service.

While the non-profit Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota offers assistance across the state for a number of needs, the focus is on providing low income housing resources. The agency supports the homeless, disabled, seniors and children. Resources range from shelter to transitional and permanent housing. The main programs available are noted below.

Transitional housing resources are for either low income or homeless families and individuals. The units are for those who need short term, affordable housing to live in. Not only will people have a place to stay, but they will receive other support as well. This can include case management, Tenant Education, permanent housing search assistance, and also information and referrals. They work with families, schools, property owners, volunteers, government, churches and social service agencies on the mission of preventing and ending homelessness in a unique way.

The main Lutheran Social Service program for Hennepin County is known as the Family Program. This particular unit is located in South Minneapolis Minnesota, is for people who came from shelters and is for one or two parent families. It provides assistance for up to 12 months and they can have children as well. In order to get help, a referral is needed from Rapid Exit. Call 612.348.9875 for more information or details.

Supportive Housing will offer support that is intended to help families in maintaining their current housing. Several other charities, government organizations and non-profits partner with Lutheran Services on this program. There are two main components to it, and they include Scattered-Site Permanent Housing (SSPH) as well as Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH).

Scattered-Site Permanent Housing is the most flexible Lutheran Social Service program. Clients will get help in finding and moving into a new home or apartment. The units will also often come with rental assistance or some form of subsidy.

Family Roots Alliance is one form of SSPH. It was crated in partnership between Simpson Housing Services (SHS) as well as LSS of Minnesota Housing Services. The objective it to reduce and address the long term homelessness across Minnesota.

It is available in several counties including Hennepin, Carver, Anoka and Scott counties. Those families that qualify for Family Roots will be placed into the transitional housing unit of their choice, which may be either scattered-site, referrals to section 8 or site-based affordable housing.

In addition to the affordable housing, additional supportive services will be provided to low income and struggling families. This will be for the purpose of emphasizing the well-being of children and adults. It will, among other things, increase skills they have in order to maintain permanent housing. Case management provided can be training to assist participants in maintaining housing; comprehensive assessments including chemical health, general health, and parenting housing placement; assistance with locating childcare; assistance with school, including GED or post-secondary options; and also job development, training and placement.




The Minnesota Lutheran Services Rental Subsidy Program provides those that qualify with a tenant based housing subsidy. This is for those people that are exiting local Transitional Housing programs. After they leave the program, and every family will then be supported during their housing search. Assistance may be provided for security deposits, first months rent, or even moving costs. The aid provided will go a long way towards helping someone avoid homelessness in the future.

Help in locating permanent housing is sometimes the best solution. Staff from Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota have learned that some lower income and working poor families have physical or mental disabilities or barriers that will prevent them from obtaining permanent housing on their own.

Some families in Minnesota face many obstacles and barriers to overcome. They need access to low income, affordable housing along with extensive support services. This will help immediately stabilize the family and put them on a path to move toward self-sufficiency. Along this entire process they will get help in obtaining independent, low income affordable housing.

So to help in this capacity, the Permanent Supportive Housing program was created. It is somewhat similar to Transitional Housing in that qualified families receive support services and placement into affordable, safe housing in Minnesota. However, a big difference is that the Lutheran Services PSH program is intended for those who require more intensive services than Transitional Housing offers and it is also for those families with greater needs. The time that people can stay in the Permanent Supportive Housing is much longer than transitional.





Once someone moves into a Lutheran Services PSH unit, a social worker from the non-profit helps each family make community connections, set and monitor progress of goals, improve decision-making skills, and they will be provided with financial aid and crisis intervention. Some of the case management provided will be access to a job search assistance, a dedicated Life Skills Worker, Mental Health Support Counselor, and Parent Educator.

The Permanent Supportive Housing programs are for Minnesota families that are homeless as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Or they can also be disabled. They also need to meet income limited and can't afford the rent on their own apartment. Journey Homes is maybe the most well known and the primary Permanent Supportive Housing program of Lutheran Services and their Metro Housing and Homeless Services Division. Telephone - 612.872.9247.

For Minneapolis area families with children, they can look into the It's All About the Kids program. This assists families who are in need of stable, affordable housing, that are homeless, and of course who have children that are in a the Minneapolis Public School district. Lutheran Social Service case workers will also partner with participants and help them find jobs, attend case management, and receive other assistance, including government benefits.

A key partner is the Hennepin County and Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, or MPHA. They provide the low income and people facing poverty with rental assistance from the Section 8 Housing Choice vouchers. Other Lutheran Service partners are the City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) and regional non-profits. Staff from LSS both prepare and support the family in an effort to help them find housing. They will coordinate housing search training, tenant education, case management and volunteer services.

After a Hennepin County resident locates an apartment or housing unit, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority or another government agency will try to enroll them into the section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program or give them some other form of rental subsidy. This will help them make the housing unit more affordable.




Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and the Homeless Youth Services program is for runaway, homeless, and street-dependent youth that live in Hennepin County or St. Paul area. The non-profit will employ outreach workers who find and work with these children and youth. The LSS Street Program will arrange shelter, food, and support for them. The organization is a member of the StreetWorks Collaborative, a network of community-based agencies more effectively conduct outreach across the county and Metro Area. Housing units are as follows.

  • LifeHaven is temporary housing to homeless minor mothers and their children. The program is in St. Paul Minnesota and will also provide clients with parenting skills training, case management, and life skills training.
  • Safe House coordinates overnight emergency shelter to single youth.
  • Rezek House is a transitional housing program for children and youth in St. Paul Minnesota that are under the age of 21. It is also available youth across all of Ramsey County. They will need to pay up to 30% of their income towards monthly rent.
  • The Lutheran Services Transitional Living Project is for the homeless youth in Ramsey County. Assistance provided includes case management, information and access to low income housing, case management, and general life skills training.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota provides assistance across the state. Their two main offices are at 501 Asbury St., St. Paul, Minnesota 55104, call 651.644.7739 as well as 2400 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404, dial 612.871.0354.


By Jon McNamara

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