Eastside Financial Center expands career development for job seekers

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Jennifer Davis loves helping people by working in the healthcare industry. Through a special career development program at the Eastside Financial Center in St. Paul, she mapped out her career path that started with certification as a nursing assistant and more recently, a phlebotomist. Her long-term goal is to become a nurse.

The Eastside Financial Center, a program of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS), is helping more people like Jennifer by expanding its already successful Bridges to Career Opportunities program with support from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The $100,000 grant is designed to continue eliminating educational and training barriers to ensure more people of color, women and people with disabilities have opportunities for successful careers.

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Teaching Children Resiliency

Resiliency houseChildren are constantly learning. Every day, new lessons teach them more about who they are and how to respond to what happens in their lives. However, unexpected situations may throw off a child’s normal routine, leaving them feeling nervous, scared or unsafe. For kids with emotional or behavioral challenges, these feelings of uncertainty and loss of control can cause an even greater impact at home, in school or out in community. Teaching children resiliency – how to cope with life’s difficulties in a healthy way – is important to ensuring their overall well-being, today and in the future.
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Single Parent, Foster Parent

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When Danielle lost her husband in a car accident 10 years ago, she was pregnant with her youngest daughter, Codi, and caring for her toddler twins, Peter and Coco. In addition to her three biological children, Danielle had also taken in a fourth child, Danny, who was in need of a safe home. Through an agreement Danielle had with his parents, she has cared for Danny (now 20) for most of his life.

Still, she was drawn to fostering. Her friends thought becoming a foster parent would be too hard for her to handle alone. They worried it would be too much for her biological children. Despite their concerns, Danielle forged ahead.

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New Perspective Leads to Hope and Healing

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“I didn’t care anymore. I felt worthless,” said Bea, who sustained serious, life-altering injuries after a car accident.  Bea was rushed to the hospital where she underwent hours of therapy to help stabilize a brain injury and cope with permanent vision loss.

“It was as if a dark cloud had settled over me and a deep fog was in my head,” she said. Things that were once routine like paying bills or cleaning the house became near impossible. “I could barely get out of bed in the morning without falling over in a fit of dizziness, let alone remember how to do every day things.”

The widow of a longtime U.S. Army intelligence officer, Bea found help through Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) Military and Veteran Services. The broad range of services are aimed at empowering military members, Veterans and their family to find the treatment and support they need to improve their quality of life and find stability.

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Sharing meals together brings happiness and better health to older adults

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When Dallas’ wife died of complications from severe dementia, he was devastated. For more than 50 years, they were a team, each other’s best friend and constant companion. It was the loneliest time of his life. Dallas’ days, once packed with responsibilities of farmer and husband, suddenly stretched long and were too quiet. He missed the sound of his wife’s infectious laughter and the comforting smells of her famous roast beef and potatoes.

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A Journey to Sibling Adoption

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High school sweethearts, Brooke and Brandon Krause from northwestern Minnesota, married and dreamed of having a big family. Heartbroken and disappointed after tireless unsuccessful years of fertility treatments, they decided to move forward with adoption. An acquaintance, aware of the challenges Brooke and Brandon were experiencing, knew of a sibling group of four young boys in need of a forever home.

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Foster Care Leads to Forever Family for Baby Brothers

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When Baby Mason was born, he was in urgent need of medical care for respiratory issues and was later diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome. His stay in the neonatal intensive care unit was preceded by his placement in the state foster care system at birth. Ill and alone, the tiny baby needed someone to love and care for him. When Amy and Mark Syvertson learned of little Mason’s plight, they welcomed the chance to care for him as his foster parents. For the Syvertsons, fostering is a way of life.

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