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Mission & History

Mission, Vision and Values

Our Mission

The mission of Lutheran Social Services (LSS) is to promote stability and honor the dignity of those we serve by providing supportive housing services that lead to self-sufficiency.

Our Position

For people on the edge of homelessness seeking a stable future, LSS is a social services agency that provides supportive housing services and hope through our compassionate and knowledgeable team.

Our Vision

Our communities have hope, stability and a path to self-sufficiency.

Our Philosophy and Values

Our work is rooted in a deep commitment to social justice.  Everyone deserves a place to live.  Stable housing is a contributing factor to one’s health, and stable housing contributes to a stable life.

Decades of world-wide research clearly shows us that the economic and social circumstances in which we are born and live – known as social determinants of health -- influence our health and welling, both as individuals and as a group. These circumstances can create disparities in how we are treated, in our ability to obtain employment, housing and health care.

We accompany our program participants on their journey toward transformation, healing and self-care. This underscores our accountability to those we serve and to those who fund our work to end homelessness.


Founded in faith but open to all, LSS traces its roots to 1883 in San Francisco when a group of West Coast Lutherans gathered to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Martin Luther’s birth. In the process, they raised money to care for orphans and widows. Over the years, several social service programs and agencies formed to advocate for and serve the needy. A 1968 merger formed what is today Lutheran Social Services (LSS) of Northern California with a service region stretching from San Luis Obispo County to the Oregon border.

Today, LSS focuses exclusively on services that prevent and end homelessness. This includes a range of direct services, including money management, supportive housing, employment counseling, job readiness training and case management to ensure each person we serve receives care and support they need to get their life back on track.

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