The origin of our Lutheran Community Services Northwest predates the Great Depression to 1921 with the founding of the Lutheran Compass Mission in Tacoma. The mission served “down-and-out” individuals and families in the community. In 1926, caring Lutherans in Portland organized a similar outreach effort known as the Lutheran Welfare Society. As human suffering escalated during the 1930s, Northwest Lutherans increased their efforts to provide clothing, bedding, food and shelter to the homeless.
In the 1940s, we resettled refugees from Eastern Europe and started offering adoption services. Our Spokane office opened in 1956 and the Tri-Cities office opened in 1964 as our work focused on mental health and marriage and family counseling. In the 1970s and 80s, we expanded services for refugees and unaccompanied minors, senior services grew in Tacoma, and the Rape Crisis Center opened in Spokane.
In 2001, Lutheran Social Services of Washington and Idaho joined with Lutheran Family Service of Oregon and SW Washington to form Lutheran Community Services Northwest.
Lutheran Community Services (LCS) Northwest makes our world a safer, healthier and more hopeful place to live for us all. We help vulnerable children, families, immigrants and others overcome life's most difficult challenges to become flourishing members of society. We save lives and create thriving communities enriched by the diversity and strengths of people who have triumphed over adversity.
We have nearly a century of experience, recognized expertise and a legacy of success and dedication to serve more than 42,000 people each year across Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Our mission is to partner with individuals, families and communities for health, justice and hope. Our diverse, caring and professional staff is made up nearly 750 people at more than 20 locations throughout the Northwest.
Our diverse array of programs fall under six broad lines of service:
• Behavioral Health Services
• Family & Community Support
• Child Welfare Programs
• Refugee & Immigrant Services
• Violence Intervention & Prevention
• Senior & Disability Services