Lutheran Social Services President and CEO Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith Wins 2023 Wipfli Innovation Excellence Award

Orange, Calif. (July 20, 2023) – Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith, president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Southern California (LSSSC), received Wipfli’s 2023 Innovation Excellence Award in recognition of the organization’s vision to create a holistic, long-term housing solution for homeless men in San Bernardino, California. The planned $38 million project will double their capacity to provide a range of services supporting independent living skills, workforce training, behavioral health and social services.

The award was presented with a $20K donation to Lutheran Social Services at the Stronger to Serve conference in Las Vegas on July 11, 2023. Established in 2018, the Wipfli award honors the late Evelyn Wright Moore, a Head Start leader from Angleton, Texas, who attended 16 Wipfli national training conferences until her passing in 2017.

“We’re so appreciative of this award as it validates and supports our innovative housing solution model in San Bernardino,” said Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith.  “We want folks to reach a level of sustainability in their quality of life, and to elevate people while infusing them with a sense of independence.”

Licensed in six counties, Lutheran Social Services’ San Bernardino project is the first of several wellness campuses envisioned for the region incorporating their sustainability model. The campus will provide wrap around services to 150 clients in need of transitional and longer-term supportive housing in individual pet-friendly units referred to as “pods.” The plan will also establish an apartment complex for those ready for permanent supportive housing after up to 12 months of transitional services while continuing to access LSSSC’s programs.

For more information about Lutheran Social Services Southern California visit, or call (714) 685-1800. For more information about the Wipfli award, visit



About Lutheran Social Services of Southern California

For 78 years, Lutheran Social Services of Southern California (LSSSC) has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to helping the most vulnerable families and individuals in Southern California. LSSSC is a social ministry organization among Lutheran Services of America, one of the nation’s largest health and human service networks. Partners and funders include the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health, US Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services. The history of LSSSC dates back to 1944 when a handful of congregants from Lutheran churches in San Diego began providing services and resources to veterans returning home. This group joined with like-minded congregants in Los Angeles and formed Lutheran Social Services in 1946. Today, LSSSC employs more than 200 dedicated staff that deliver more than 30 programs across six counties.






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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.
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