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Lutheran Social Services of Northern California

Ending Homelessness. For Good.

LSS’s vision is to end homelessness by providing safe, stable housing for individuals and families of all ages who have experienced homelessness throughout Northern California. We provide compassionate, caring, nonsectarian services that assist individuals in getting their lives back on track.

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Why should I support your work?

The reasons for homelessness are varied and often complex: unemployment, chronic illness, lack of education, generational or long-term poverty, mental illness, substance use, lack of affordable housing and surviving a disaster, such as the wildfires that have devastated large regions of Northern California. This is why it can take months, even years, to regain one’s confidence and dignity after becoming homeless, even for a short time. 

LSS of Northern California is part of the solution to ending homelessness in our region.  We currently assist nearly 4,000 individuals – from birth to 102 years old – in staying safely housed while they address the reasons for their past homelessness. This means 4,000 fewer people are not living on the streets or in shelters and are not using expensive emergency services.

What specifically do you do?

LSS guides individuals in rebuilding their lives after they have experienced homelessness.  We serve formerly homeless adults, seniors, former foster youth and families living in seven Northern California counties.  First we ensure that each person entrusted to our care has a safe place to call home, then we connect them with relevant services, such as health care, food, counseling, financial management, transportation, childcare, and education. We partner with many nonprofits, community colleges and universities throughout our large service region, which stretches from San Luis Obispo to Oregon.

How will this make a difference?

Safe, stable housing is an important aspect of one’s health. That’s why LSS considers stable housing our blueprint for success.  Having a place to call home makes it easier for a formerly homeless individual or family to focus on other aspects of their life. Many people we serve also need assistance in navigating the bureaucracies of our healthcare and social services organizations, so we assist each person in accessing the care and support needed to get their life on track.

How is your work different from that of other, similar charities?

LSS of Northern California is not a homeless shelter.  We are part of the critical next step when a person or family leaves a shelter or temporary housing program.  On average, year over year, 97% of those served by LSS remain in stable housing, even if they leave our program. 

What have you accomplished?

Thanks to our strong management and client outcomes, LSS has grown to oversee 30 supportive housing programs that assist nearly 4,0000 individuals and families in Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Solano, Shasta and Yolo counties.  Our strategic community partnerships encourage innovative development of services, including partnerships with property management companies, childcare providers, in-home therapy providers, and other organizations providing important services. We also work with our clients on ways to better serve their needs.

How can I be sure you’ll use my money wisely?

The adults and youth in our programs have little or nothing in the way of personal belongings when we begin our work.  Funding that we receive from state, county and federal sources support staffing and housing, but no equipment or items to furnish the efficiency apartments in which our clients live.  Your donations make a difference in our services by helping to purchase essential household items and furnishings, as well as clothing.