San Diego County Office

In San Diego County, we currently offer a range of programs for seniors, youth, and those in need of emergency services. We strategically partner with schools, churches, and other community locations to bring our services where they are needed most. We operate a Senior Community Center (“Cathy Hopper Clairemont Friendship Center”), Senior Companion Program through the Corporation for National and Community Service; two Federal TRiO student education programs through the Department of Education; an emergency food pantry; and case management services in partnership with the Interfaith Shelter Network. This method of partnering allows us to provide service opportunities that are valuable for our clients and volunteers.

Senior Programs & Services

Cathy Hopper Clairemont Friendship Center (Clairemont)

The Friendship Center is dedicated to serving seniors with programs tailored to their needs such as exercise, wellness, education and arts programs, billiards and pool, cards, and an open area for socializing and connecting with others. MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CATHY HOPPER.

Senior Companion Program (San Diego County)

The Senior Companion Program is seniors giving back to other seniors. Senior Companions are volunteers age 55 and over who make a difference by providing assistance and friendship to adults who have difficulty with daily quality of life tasks, such as shopping or paying bills. We help these adults remain independent, which reduces the likelihood that they will need costly institutional care. Senior Companions give families or professional caregivers some much needed time off from their duties, run errands, and often provide friendship for their clients. MORE INFORMATION.

Caring Neighbors (Santee)

The Caring Neighbors program serves the East County community of Santee by encouraging older adults to live independently in their homes. The program is dedicated to serving the city’s low-income seniors and adults with disabilities with no cost home repairs, maintenance, and yard clean up. Through the generous efforts of our volunteers who provide labor, we partner together with donors who provide in-kind and monetary donations so that these services are no cost to the residents. Our volunteers are from all walks of life including the faith community, service organizations, schools, contractors, youth groups and individuals wanting to serve our community.

Youth Programs & Services

Upward Bound (South Bay San Diego)

Upward Bound conducts school-based academic services to motivate students to pursue postsecondary education. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in their precollege performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits. Upward Bound serves: high school students from low-income families; and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education. MORE INFORMATION.

Talent Search (South Bay San Diego)

The Talent Search program identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to and complete their postsecondary education. The program publicizes the availability of financial aid and assists participants with the postsecondary application process. Talent Search also encourages persons who have not completed education programs at the secondary or postsecondary level to enter or reenter and complete postsecondary education. The goal of Talent Search is to increase the number of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and enroll in and complete their postsecondary education. MORE INFORMATION.

Emergency Services

Project Hand (Chula Vista)

Project Hand provides a 3-day supply of emergency food, infant supplies including formula and diapers, hygiene/personal care items, and clothing vouchers when available to the most vulnerable in Chula Vista.

In Partnership with The Interfaith Shelter Network (Clairemont Region)

A seasonal emergency shelter program that services men, women and families with children. The Network includes over 120 congregations of all denominations county-wide in a Rotational Shelter program. About 70 of the congregations host the program in their facilities for two or four weeks a year and the remainder serve in a valuable support role, providing volunteers for meals and overnight hosting, transportation and donations.

Emergency Services ico-emergency_sm

  • Food Pantry
  • Grocery Packs

Program Resources ico-emergency_sm

  • Senior Companion Program
  • Caring Neighbors
  • Talent Search
  • Upward Bound

Contact Info

Darlene Mees, Senior Director

ico-email Email:
ico-phone Office: 858-483-4007
Fax: 858-483-4006
home 4425 Bannock Avenue
San Diego, CA 92117

Lutheran Social Services of Southern California is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
All donations are tax deductible in full or in part.
Website by Fireworx Digital | © 2018 LSS
Ambassadors are short-term volunteers who open doors for our organization in the community, introducing new people at our bi-monthly Fostering Community Care event. These are one hour awareness events only (no solicitations are made) to expose people to the great work of LSS Community Care. To become an Ambassador here are your responsibilities:
  1. 1 – Attend at least one Fostering Community Care event during the calendar year
  2. 2 – Host or invite and bring 10-15 guests to one Fostering Community Care event within 3 months of your attending one yourself.
  3. 3 – Inform your invited guests of what the Fostering Community Care meeting will be about, and let them know that they will receive a follow up call from the organization
  4. 4 – Ambassadors will complete their commitment after bringing 10-15 persons within the 3 month time period. An Ambassador has the option to complete after one term, continue for another 3 month term or move into another role on the team.
Become an Ally

Allies are community members who want to be in a supportive, intentional, befriending relationship with an individual or family working to get out of poverty.

Other ways to help the Southern California Family Support Initiative
  • Be an Ad-Hoc Ally – share your special skill or talent
  • Be a member of your local Community Leadership Team
  • Assist with weekly Child Care/Children’s Programs
  • Be a Community Spokesman – talk about the initiative and recruit others to join
  • Financially Sponsor a Family Leader
  • Facilitate/assist with Training Our Leaders and Allies
  • Behind-the-scenes work – internet research, graphic design, writing
We are actively seeking individuals and groups to be a part of our on-going mission to serve those in need. LSS administers over 50 specialized programs and services throughout the Southern California region. Contact your nearest LSS Center to hear about the local opportunities they have available.
Be a positive role model
Give back to others and help change lives
Transform communities
Spend your time doing something rewarding
Meet new people
Have fun
Learn new skills, share your talents, build your resume

The life you change most – may be your own!