Lutheran Social Services to absorb Multi-Cultural Center this week

The Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls and Lutheran Social Services are planning on moving...
The Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls and Lutheran Social Services are planning on moving into the future as one organization.(Dakota News Now)
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 1:36 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Directors of the Lutheran Social Services (LSS) and the Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls (MCC) decided that LSS will absorb the MCC this week.

LSS will transition MCC and its programs and assets into LSS and will assume management effective Oct. 1. A full transition is expected by year-end, at which point the MCC organization will dissolve, but the work will continue, according to a press release from both groups.

The Interim MCC Executive Director Laurie Knutson and the MCC board of directors will continue to govern the organization through the transition as needed.

“The MCC leadership believes that LSS’s mission aligns with and supports the MCC mission. Programs and services will thrive with the added stability and leadership offered by the LSS organization,” says Knutson. “We believe a new synergy will develop with bringing our valued people and financial resources together—allowing us to serve our constituents and community more effectively.”

“The mission for LSS and the MCC have great synergy. LSS is excited to have an opportunity to provide administrative and leadership support of MCC to propel the work into the future,” said LSS President/CEO Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen. “There will be more exciting developments to come!”

Leaders from both organizations believe they serve a similar role in the community, and by merging, they will be able to more efficiently serve their purpose, responding to client and community needs.

“The transition of the MCC into LSS also aligns with the LSS vision statement that All South Dakotans will be healthy, safe, and accepted,” continues Kiesow-Knudsen. “We are all committed to making Sioux Falls and South Dakota a welcoming community for individuals and families of all backgrounds.”

LSS will continue the work of the MCC

LSS will continue the work of the MCC serving various immigrant populations and working with Native American populations to celebrate cultural diversity within the Sioux Falls community.

Relationships with the City of Sioux Falls and Minnehaha County will focus on community engagement and will continue to offer opportunities to build on community interests around cultural diversity, such as the Festival of Cultures.

How LSS has served the community

For more than 100 years, LSS has offered a variety of services, including Behavioral Health, Center for Financial Resources, Adoption, and Pregnancy Counseling, Foster Care, Residential Services for Children and Youth, Childcare and Education, and Mentoring, among others. Representatives say LSS is committed to responding to our community’s changing needs.

The work done through the LSS Center for New Americans has developed solid relationships with several multi-cultural communities and provides support for many who are settling in the community.

LSS also offers MCC support with human resources, information technology, accounting, grant writing, fundraising, and executive leadership to make sure they have long-term functionality and stability in the MCC programs and services.