Lutheran Social Services of  Southern California is engaged in a very important project – the training and support of individuals who wish to  become Peer Support Specialists (PSS). This project is being funded by a grant from the California  Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAi) administrating the Workforce Education and  Training (WET) Grant Program, a component of the State’s MHSA.  This particular WET grant provides the opportunities for public, private, and nonprofit organizations,  including faith based and community-based organizations (CBOs), to conduct training and support that facilitates the placement of peer personnel. For this project, peer personnel are defined as individuals  with experience as a mental/behavioral health services consumer, family member, and/or caregiver  placed in designated peer positions within the Public Mental Health System (PMHS). Unique about this  project is that all the training, and most individual support, are conducted on-line in a format that allows  the participants to learn at their own pace without the need to travel to training sites or disrupt their current schedules.


Lutheran Social Services of Southern California began in December 1944 when a group of San Diego area Lutheran congregations came together to discuss how to better assist families in need. We began discussing how to form a Welfare Commission. The vision expanded when we came together with another group of Lutheran congregations in the Los Angeles area having the very same conversation. Lutheran Social Services of Southern California was officially incorporated in 1946 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social service agency. The mission has stayed true to its earliest beginnings, to be a servant to those in need. Today LSSSC serves thousands of individuals and families throughout Southern California with over 70 different programs/services at nearly 20 different locations. We are part of the Lutheran Services in America (LSA) network and strive to serve those in need with dignity and respect




A Peer Support Specialist has lived experience and is trained and certified to provide help and encouragement for others who are also working their way toward wellness. These specialists may go by different names in different settings. For example, they may be called Certified Recovery Support Specialists, and in the Department of Veterans Affairs, they are referred to as Peer Support Technicians. Regardless of what title they have, Peer Support Specialists all have a common commitment to helping others, working from a strengths-based perspective. Utilizing peers with shared experiences to deliver services is empowering, and research has proven that this approach is a highly effective in program in reaching those in need. If you are interested in learning more about how to become a Peer Support Specialist, or just want to learn more about the profession, just follow the link by clicking on the button below. It will take you to the LSSSC PSS Web Page. Thank you for your interest.

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!