“We have seen how the virus does not discriminate, but its impacts do – exposing deep weaknesses in the delivery of public services and structural inequalities that impede access to them. We must make sure they are properly addressed in the response.” António Guterres, UN Secretary General.

Lutheran Social Services of Southern California is known for its food pantries and clothes closets, but we go beyond that in many different ways. Responding to people in various emergencies, we offer behavioral health counseling at many different levels. We help veterans access benefits they deserve and assist homeless clients in securing CA identification and Social Security cards. In some areas we care for children who have been sexually abused, house homeless men, enable college options for low-income student and offer supportive assistance to senior adults. For many families and individuals, the immediate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was just the beginning. Together, we will see them through to the end. Learn more about our individual COVID-19 hours and services below.


Central City Lutheran Mission

Jessica Esquivel
ph. (909)381-6921

Men’s Shelter, Grocery Distribution

*Please Note:
Community programs have been temporarily closed for the duration of the pandemic with the exception of Transportation Services. All hot meals are limited to shelter clients and residents only. Grocery Distribution is held on the 3rd and 4th Friday of every month from 8:30am to 11:00am. Food bags are available on an emergency
basis daily.

Chula Vista/San Diego

Johnny Viloria
ph. (619)425-4061

Fresh and non-perishable food and grocery distribution
Project Hand – Food Pantry
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
580 Hilltop Dr.
Chula Vista, CA 91910

Monday, Wednesday and Friday hours are 9:00am to 2:00pm
Tuesday and Thursday hours  are 10:30am to 2:00pm, closed
on Saturdays

Orange County

Jim Pijloo
ph. (714)534-6450

Mondays & Tuesdays: 09:30am – 12:30pm

Wednesdays & Thursdays: 10:00am-12:00pm (closed for lunch for an hour) 1pm to 3pm

Closed to the public on Fridays

The office takes calls M-F 8:00am-5:00pm every week.

Our office makes appointments during the times not opened to the public. We are doing telephonic/telehealth encounters (counseling & case management appointments) at this point.

Long Beach/South Bay

Wendy Rubio
ph. (562)599-1321

Food Distribution – Open to the Public
Monday, Tuesday & Thursday: 10AM-12PM & 12:30-2PM
Wednesday: 11AM-12PM & 12:30-2PM

Clothing Distribution Monday through Thursday from 10AM – 2PM

Donation Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 9AM – 2PM
For other arrangements, please contact Wendy at (562) 599-1321 Ext. 1029

*Please Note:
Services provided include food and hygiene items/toiletries, household items, diapers/formula, blankets, and paper goods
when available.

San Fernando Valley

Jan Maseda
ph. (818)288-7054

We are accepting food and clothes donations to go to our partnership sites in the San Fernando Valley. Please contact us for pick up. At this time, we no longer have Payee services, however, resources and referrals are available.

Riverside County

Elin Zerai, Senior Director


Food Distribution – Open to the Public
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
10:00AM – 2:00PM with phone hours 9:00am-4:30pm
*Please Note:
Rental assistance, utility assistance, case management, housing search, SSI applications, Food Stamps (via food bank) applications, and referrals are available Mondays and Fridays from 9:00am – 5:30pm via telecommuting.

Ventura County

Dichele Harris
ph. (805)497-6207

Fresh and non-perishable Food and Grocery Distribution, Grab-N-Go Lunches (as available). Hygiene items, clothing/blankets,
paper goods

9:00am – 12:30pm – Daily
*Please Note:
All services are available as quantities permit. Please contact office for updated information. In light of COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, there is limited restroom and afternoon availability by appointment only.

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!