Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and Lifetrack announced their plans to merge by July 1, 2021. The goals are to improve financial stability, share resources and continue their mission to strengthen families.

The Red Wing community will not see any changes to the services offered here.

“We’ve appreciated the expertise that Lutheran Social Service has shared to sustain our operations and focus on future growth,” said Wayne Jarvis, board chair of Lifetrack. “We see tremendous opportunity ahead to continue operational efficiencies and expand our services to serve more Minnesotans in more communities in the years ahead.”

Plans to merge started in 2019 and Lifetrack will begin service delivery as LSS on July 1.

Jacqueline Nelson, senior manager, public relations and marketing of LSS, said, “The merger gives us the opportunity to combine our services in ways that will provide wider, more holistic support to individuals and families across services.”

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Lifetrack was established in 1948 as the St. Paul Rehabilitation Center to help those disabled by polio and military service during World War II. Today, the organization offers a program called Families Together, which combines home visits and therapeutic preschool in St. Paul, employment services, and deaf and hard of hearing services.

Lutheran Pastor Eric Norelius founded LSS in 1865 as an orphanage in the Vasa Lutheran Church for children near Red Wing. Over the years LSS has continued to advocate for children, people with disabilities and older adults. The mission is to inspire hope, change lives and build community.

There are no new plans for the historic Vasa Home building at this time.

Nelson added, “Individuals in the Red Wing community who currently receive support from LSS are not likely to see any changes to services they receive.”

For information about Lutheran Social Service, visit www.lssmn.org. For more information about Lifetrack, visit www.lifetrack-mn.org.