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.
Ignited by faith, we live out God’s love by embracing, equipping and empowering vulnerable people in Southern 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.
Our care center primarily focuses on those without permanent housing and at-risk individuals and families. We offer short-term assistance including food and clothing, counseling and case management. We also provide referrals and individual guidance to assist clients as they seek self-confidence and dignity.
Mothers come to us because food stamps can’t get them through the month. After a pink slip, a teacher lived in a motor home. He came to LSS for groceries, clothes, and a weakly meal. An LSS intern first came to us because there was no food in her cupboard.
Local students have a scholarship, but can’t afford the dorm. Many live in cars, shower in the gymnasium, and come to LSS for something to eat. Our pantry is often the last option people have.