Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Dan Reed
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Domestic violence services for Carlton County in new hands


August 29, 2019

Family Pathways is replacing Windows on October 1 to provide the domestic violence and sexual assault services of advocacy, education, outreach, and crisis line, as well as parenting time centers for supervised visitation in Carlton, Pine, and Kanabec Counties.

The Minnesota Office of Justice Programs (OJP) has awarded Family Pathways the contract for two years. Windows will cover the three counties with a skeleton crew through September 30. Two staff at the moment are handling the Carlton County needs. Former Director of the old Carlton County Domestic Abuse Program Sue Wojciehowski who has worked part time for Windows the last six years is helping provide Carlton County services during this transition period.

The Windows program which has been based out of Hinckley will cease to exist after Family Pathways takes over on October 1. Long time Windows Director Lilja retired in the spring and many of the staff have gone on to other jobs.

“The funding award is validation of our expertise and impact, as well as a testament to the faith OJP has in Family Pathways,” commented Lisa Mears, Family Pathways Chief Executive Officer. Family Pathways provides similar services in Chisago and Isanti Counties. They operate some thrift stores closer to the Twin Cities.

“The services provided by these programs are important,” stated former Carlton County Court Administrator Judy Isaacson. “Victims of abuse, sometimes women but also men, need help as they are going through the court system. These victims need an advocate not only to emotionally support them in the process but also to assist them in filling out the legal forms correctly and promptly. Besides this, the court system can run more smoothly to solve problems when an advocate is there to help. These programs also provide needed visitation services during times of family domestic distress.”

Victims of violence should contact Family Pathways, otherwise known as Refuge Network, at the confidential, crisis line 800-338-7233.

Family Pathways is currently hiring to expand their services into the Carlton, Pine, and Kanabec Counties. For more information, visit


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