I think if I were Jodi Harpstead, LSS of Minnesota’s CEO I wouldn’t be going to St. Cloud and bragging about their role in creating the largest communities of Somalis outside of Africa and on top of that saying ‘no one is getting rich doing this work.’
A major goal of ‘American Resistance 2016!’ is to showcase those who are changing America by changing the people and Harpstead is one of those change agents.
Somalis have been resettled for decades in Minnesota thanks originally to three federal resettlement contractors (there are more now), but the original three working for the US State Department are Lutheran Social Services, Catholic Charities and World Relief. See my 2011 report here at RRW.
Here is the story in the St. Cloud Times, yesterday.
Harpstead doesn’t understand why there should be resistance to changing the demographic make-up of small American cities and towns.
The state leader of a nonprofit organization that helps resettle refugees in Minnesota told a St. Cloud audience Tuesday that the recent negative response to Lutheran Social Service’s longstanding program was one of her biggest frustrations of the past year.
St. Cloud has added about 4,500 new foreign-born residents in the last 15 years, a 6 percent increase in the city’s population, Harpstead said.
Lutheran Social Service has resettled fewer than 1,000 of those; the rest have come on their own through secondary migration, she said. LSS plans to resettle about 215 refugees in St. Cloud this year.
She gives some other interesting bits of information such as the fact that they have their eyes on other towns in Minnesota (Worthington, Mankato, and Pelican Rapids), but maybe that isn’t new to those of you living there.
They are paid by the head, but this is a drop in the bucket in terms of the money they receive through government contracts.
But, I can’t believe she had the audacity to utter the last line below:
Lutheran Social Service works with refugees for the first eight months after their arrival, helping them find jobs and housing. Refugees receive a one-time grant of $1,125, plus a loan for travel expenses that must be repaid.
LSS of Minnesota receives $850 per individual. Less than $1 million of the $123 million in total revenue LSS will receive in 2016 is from refugee resettlement, she said.
“No one gets rich doing this work,” Harpstead said.
It would be one thing if Lutheran church-goers were shelling out the money to run this so-called ‘religious’ charity and pay her huge salary and benefits package, but they aren’t. LSS of Minnesota is a quasi-government agency since the vast majority of its $89,384,263 income (reported on page 9 Form 990, 9/30/2014) comes from government fees and contracts.
They actually say on that tax return that their mission is: “Express the love of Christ for all people through service that changes lives and builds community.” [Where is the ACLU on the separation of church and state this time?]
And, as for no one getting rich, Harpstead’s salary and benefits package (including related income) for that year was $387,360! To put that in perspective that is a higher salary than US Supreme Court Justices and twice as much as US Senators and Members of Congress pull down.
LSS has nine other employees over 6-figures!
When you read the St. Cloud Times story be sure to take note of the “My neighbor is a Muslim” campaign that LSS is promoting as well.
If I lived in Minnesota, knowing that your elected leaders are hopelessly supportive of changing the demographics of Minnesota, I think I would work on investigating LSS in 2016 and exposing them at every turn.