70 Years and Still Going Strong!
In 1948 the Minnesota Society for Crippled Children and Adults, the Junior League of St. Paul, the Amherst H. Wilder Charity, and the Family Nursing Service of St. Paul opened the St. Paul Rehabilitation Center. Responding to the community need arising from the polio epidemic and injured veterans returning from World War II, the purpose was to provide physical, occupational and speech therapy services to children and adults, as well as preschool training to young children with disabilities
Throughout the 1950's Lifetrack's major program areas of rehabilitation therapies and employment services were developed, with the launch of two tracks: A comprehensive Therapeutic Child Development Program and Vocational Programs to help people move into employment after physical rehabilitation.
In the 1960's a merger with Jewish Vocational Services resulted in the creation of our production facility Packaging First, which provided training and work experience to people with disabilities, refugees and people moving from welfare to work. Also, a demonstration project with “long-term” welfare recipients referred by Ramsey County was launched, including a job in the workshop, vocational evaluation, counseling and job placement assistance.
During the 1970's Lifetrack consolidated services with the St. Paul Hearing and Speech Center resulted in the addition of services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Our rehabilitation services for individuals with hearing impairments and multiple disabilities received national recognition as a service model
In the 1980's we expanded services to meet the needs of the homeless, immigrants and refugees and persons with mental illness.
In the 1990's Lifetrack became the largest private provider of employment services to persons with disabilities or who are disadvantaged in the East Metro Area, as we increased use of our supported work environment and became a vendor for government supported employment programs, including STRIDE (Success Through Reaching Individual Development and Employment) and MFIP (Minnesota Family Investment Program). In 1991, Lifetrack moved to its current location at 709 University Ave located in the heart of the neighborhood we serve, Frogtown. We expanded across University Avenue and purchased the property located at 738 University as a part of the Neighborhood Cleanup Project in 1998.
In 2000's, St. Paul Rehabilitation Center became Lifetrack Resources, Inc. We began the Family Support Connection, a statewide service supporting families of children diagnosed as deaf or hard of hearing, to provide parents with information on the complete array of choices in making medical, communication, education and lifestyle decisions. We also launched our home visiting services and began bringing parenting education and support to families where they live.
In 2010, Lifetrack's acquisition of the Working Family Resource Center let us bring together complementary services and resources in the community through our Life Balance Solutions program, which gave families access to a greater spectrum of services.
In 2013, Lifetrack Resources shortened its name to Lifetrack.