Cynthia: Running Away from Harm – Stepping into Hope

Cynthia is a mother of three boys and one girl, all under the age of eleven. She ran away from an abusive husband in Georgia, and came to the West Coast looking for a new life. The five of them managed to rent a single room in a personal residence, where they hoped to be safe. But, the landlord was verbally abusive and disrespectful to the family, and they were desperate for help.

Initially, they came to LSS asking for basic items: food, clothes, shoes and hygiene articles. But there was another essential need.

Cynthia had secured employment for the first time in seven years, but she had no money to provide childcare during the summer months, when her children were out of school. LSS managed to pay for this critical need. We also provided case management and individual counseling to assist her in the transition she and her children faced.

We facilitated the family taking temporary refuge in a domestic violence shelter. Then, we helped Cynthia with applications for transitional housing and permanent housing. Finally, to help stop the cycle of poverty, our case managers referred her to a financial education program.

Homeless women with children are the most vulnerable members of our society. Those who have been abused physically or sexually are in the greatest of need. A rape occurs every 56 minutes in California. Every day in California, domestic violence shelters serve almost 6,000 women and children.

Domestic violence is a war being waged all over California. Unfortunately, most of the victims are all but invisible to the average citizen. But they are not overlooked by Lutheran Social Services. Our Victim Intervention Program (VIP) in Orange County embraces these victims, and assists them in transitioning to a safe, secure and sustainable existence.

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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!