The Hills Youth and Family Services is Closing After 112 Years

DULUTH, Minn.– A local Duluth youth treatment center that has helped children and families for 112 years must close its doors.

The Hills Center has served as a juvenile residential treatment facility for over 100 years, but in less than a month, they must shut down their operations permanently July 2nd.

After the group opened a mental health facility in East Bethel, Minnesota, in April 2020, and having to close it last week, it was more bad news for their Duluth facility.

The Hills leadership reports that funding issues and impacts from COVID is what is causing these operations to come to a heartbreaking close.

“The state of Minnesota is losing 110 beds for kids with mental health issues and behavioral problems, and there is such a tremendous need for these services that to have to close down because of financial issues is very disheartening,” Leslie Chaplin, the President and CEO of the Hills, said.

Besides the impacts from COVID, funding issues were a huge obstacle, and a partnership could have been the answer to all of their problems, “we could have done a lot to save things here, it needed true partnership from the state department of human services and that simply has not been there, there has been no partnership at all,” Chaplin said.

Even though the residential help will no longer be available, some programs through The Hills will remain open such as the Neighborhood Youth Services free after-school program, and various day treatment sites open around the county.

“There are some resources available that families will still be able to access on a prevention basis, this will be a loss but there are still community services available that will be able to support children and families,” Paula Stocke, the Deputy Director for Public Health and Human Services, said.

The Hills hopes to leave behind a legacy of success, as they have helped so many members of the community to a better place.

Plans for employee relocation for their nearly 100 employees in Duluth are still in the works.

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