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Julsrud to lead new Center for Changing Lives in Duluth

Julsrud to Lead New Center for Changing Lives in Duluth

(December 21, 2016) – Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota announced today that former Duluth City Councilor Jennifer Julsrud will become the new Director of the Center for Changing Lives in Duluth, effective January 3. 

“We are so pleased to have an immensely talented and strong leader on board to launch this new initiative for youth,” said Jodi Harpstead, CEO for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. “Jen will bring her deep knowledge of the Duluth community and passion for serving youth to the important task of working to end homelessness for youth in Duluth.  The youth of Duluth have a strong champion in Jen.”

Julsrud brings a wealth of leadership experience to her new position, including four years on the Duluth City Council, three years on the Lutheran Social Service statewide Board of Directors, and dedicated service on the Capital Campaign Committee to secure private financial support to build the center. She will be transitioning from her role on the LSS Board of Directors to her staff position on January 3.

"It's a dream job and a great fit that matches my passion for serving our neighbors with a forward-thinking mission and innovative culture at LSS that benefits our community,” Julsrud said. “LSS is an enduring organization that just celebrated 100 years of service to Duluthians this year, and I'm excited to be a part of shaping and leading our next century of service."  

Construction of the new Center for Changing Lives began in May and is on track to open in June 2017. The 27,000 square-foot facility will bring all of the organization’s youth services -- currently spread across town -- under one roof, and provide 10 supportive apartments and 10 transitional housing spaces. The center near downtown Duluth will be on a bus line and easily accessible. The facility’s three levels will also feature supportive counseling and education groups, life skills training, job development and a teen health center.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota in Duluth traces its 100-year history to 1916 when caring Swedish Lutherans opened the Bethany Children’s Home to provide support, shelter and care for children and youth. Today, the organization serves 600 youth annually in Greater Duluth. For more information about the Center for Changing Lives, visit