A Mother Who Struggled; A Family That Was Saved

Carla’s life had consisted of one disaster after another. She grew up in foster care, and struggled with mental health issues from her early childhood. By the time she was 35, she had four children between the ages of four and ten, all of who had special mental health needs. She couldn’t find a job, and if she had, there was no one who could assist her with the children. 

She met with a counselor from Lutheran Social Services. Our staff member listened to her not only as a trained therapist, but also as a mother. Carla worked with the LSS behavioral staff for three years. The process was slow, and often painful, but she persisted. So did LSS. 

Eventually, Carla found part-time employment, and the children were enrolled in school.  The entire family started moving out of a world filled with chaos, to a life punctuated with order, meaning and hope. 

People like Carla come to Lutheran Social Services because they have sensed their life is out of control.  They don’t know what to do or where to turn.  

A recent study found that by age four, children of high-income households had heard 30 million more words than low-income children.  Extreme poverty can produce toxic stress that literally rewires a child’s brain, and negatively impacts brain functioning for life. 

Lutheran Social Services provides help and hope to so many people living on the margins of life.  We have done so since the end of World War II and intend to continue in our efforts in the days and years ahead.


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. 


Compassion I Advocacy I Collaboration I Respect / Innovation I Stewardship

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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!