Hills Youth Services to Close July 2 in Duluth

DULUTH, Minn.-The Hills Youth and Family Services in Duluth announced it will close July 2.

In a letter the president and CEO cited costs, the “State’s inaction on rate adjustments,” and the COVID-19 pandemic. The group also announced the closure of their East Bethel facility.

Below is the full letter from the president and CEO.

Dear Friends:
It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today to share the news that The Hills Youth and Family Services will cease operations effective July 2, 2021, at 3PM. Our organization took a substantial risk to help more children in need of mental health services by opening an additional location in East Bethel, MN, a year ago. Unfortunately, due to extraordinarily high fixed costs, the State’s inaction on rate adjustments and the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the East Bethel facility and The Hills faced an insurmountable financial burden. We have pursued every avenue available to us to find a viable financial solution, but time and our options have run out and we must close the facility.
This is an unfortunate outcome that no one wanted and a devastating blow to children’s mental health services in Minnesota. Our focus now is to ensure the children in our care are transitioned in the best possible manner to new placements that will meet their needs. The dedicated staff at The Hills will continue to provide quality care throughout the transition.
For the time being, our community programs, including our Neighborhood Youth Services and day treatment sites, will continue to operate. We are making every effort to secure the support of the Duluth and surrounding communities and find new operators for these important programs prior to July 2nd.
Our 112-year legacy is one of success, resiliency, integrity and hope. Since its founding as an orphanage in 1909, countless lives have been changed for the better within our walls and throughout our community. As we close our doors, we reflect on the success of our alumni and the unwavering hope and opportunity that our organization has offered to so many youth and families. Our legacy will live on through the youth we’ve served and the staff who began and cultivated their careers here, many of whom are now industry leaders throughout the country.
I would especially like to thank our dedicated staff, as well as the families, donors, funders and community partners who put their trust in us for so many years. You made our mission possible and we are grateful.
We thank you for your support as we write the final chapter of The Hills Youth and Family Services’ history. If you have questions about the transition or can offer support to our community programs, please contact me.
Sincerely,
Leslie Chaplin, PhD, LICSW
President/CEO
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