Throughout Southern California

Lutheran Social Services of Southern California began in December 1944 when a group of Lutheran congregations in San Diego came together to discuss how to better assist families in need. They began discussing how to form a Welfare Commission. Their vision expanded when they came together with another group of Lutheran congregations in Los Angeles having the very same conversations. Lutheran Social Services of Southern California was officially incorporated in 1946 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit social service agency. The mission has stayed true to its earliest beginnings, to be a servant to those in need.

Today LSS-SC annually serves hundreds of thousands of individuals and families throughout Southern California with over 50 different programs/services at over 20 different locations. We are part of the Lutheran Services in America (LSA) network and strive to serve those in need with dignity and respect.

We Embrace

…those in crisis, with short-term, emergency services.

We Equip

…individuals and families, with program resources to help them on their journey.

We Empower

…people to break the cycle of poverty, live with dignity and become self-sufficient.

“History judges every civilization by the same criteria: how far they allow the poorest among them to fall.”
– Arnold Toynbee

mission & vision
Ignited by faith, we live out God’s love by embracing, equipping and empowering vulnerable people in So California.

Sharing the love of Christ, we are a community to care and be cared for…where the vulnerable are safer and stronger; where the dependent are self-sustaining; where the isolated dwell in community; where the weary will be given hope.

  • We are faith based – We are driven by our faith based mission to serve others as Christ did.
  • We demonstrate respect for all – We respect each person as a child of God; both valuable and unique.
  • We have a sense of servanthood – We believe every interaction is an opportunity to serve God, one another, the community and our society.
  • We work toward excellence and innovation – We strive for continual improvement by fostering personal and professional development, accountability, teamwork and commitment to quality.
  • We exercise good stewardship – We care about and are accountable for our financial and human resources.
  • We seek justice for those we serve – We have an ongoing pursuit of social and economic justice by advocating for systems and structures that are attuned to the needs of the vulnerable and disadvantaged, and promote a sense of community among all persons.

lss foundation

The Lutheran Social Services Foundation of Southern California was incorporated as a California 509 (a) 3 Non-profit Public Benefit Corporation and received its IRS determination on December 13, 1989.

The purpose of the Foundation is:

• To educate the general public (about LSS services)
• To develop & solicit ongoing financial support for LSS
• To receive (manage & invest) planned gifts or other assets (for LSS)

The Foundation’s Vision is to provide sufficient uninterrupted human and financial resources to enable LSS-SC to successfully perform its day-to-day operations, support new ministry efforts and address future community needs and foster quality relationships.

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!