• Sharing Christmas Joy with Children

    Date Posted: Mar 21, 2016

    Last year, each of the 100+ children served by LSSI's Intact Family Services were asked what they wanted for Christmas. With the help of Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Barrington, they all got their wish! Atonement's Adopt-a-Family program began over 30 years ago as a partnership with several other congregations to assist families in need at Christmas. Read more...

  • Watson Foster Care

    Date Posted: Mar 15, 2016

    Osayande and Nanyamko Watson had a unique perspective on foster care when they decided to become foster parents in the early 90s. As employees of the Cook County Correctional Facility, the Watsons saw first-hand the struggles of adolescent African-American males. Osayande, who worked at the correctional facility for 30 years before his retirement, saw a void in the mentorship of young people. Read more...

  • Mission Work Close to Home

    Date Posted: Mar 14, 2016

    In 2010, St. John's Lutheran Church-Somonauk faced a challenge—they wanted to actively engage in mission work, but had no avenue to do so. They formed a Mission Committee, and under the guidance of congregant Tom Martin, their programs are thriving, with LSSI as a key beneficiary of their efforts. Read more...

  • Going the Distance for Kids and Families

    Date Posted: Mar 08, 2016

    Some days, staff from LSSI's Children's Community Services in southern Illinois might drive four hours round trip to serve foster children—taking siblings to a supervised visit with parents or picking up children being removed from their homes. LSSI's Marion and Vienna offices serve surrounding communities with foster care services, Intact Family services, and the extended family support program. Read more...

  • Volunteers for All Seasons

    Date Posted: Mar 07, 2016

    Three years ago, it started with the words, "Yes. We can do that." From there, volunteers at Bethlehem Lutheran Church-St. Charles, have shared their time and resources with children in foster care and their foster parents, continuing its long volunteer history with LSSI. Read more...

  • The Welcoming Center

    Date Posted: Mar 01, 2016

    Individuals experiencing a mental health crisis often turn to hospital emergency rooms for care. And while they may find stabilizing treatment for a non-critical crisis, their long-term needs can be difficult to address. "It's easy for these individuals to get lost outside of the emergency room (ER)," said Manoj Patel, Director of LSSI's Project IMPACT (Immediate Multidisciplinary Pre-Screening Assessment Crisis Team). Read more...

  • Kathy Nelson: Helping Others Feel They Matter

    Date Posted: Feb 29, 2016

    Kathy Nelson was first drawn to LSSI while at a presentation given by a behavioral health counselor from the organization. "What stuck with me was the enthusiasm and passion this woman had about the ministry. It was exhilarating," Nelson said. "She made me feel like I had something to give. I wanted to support that ministry so that others could feel like they mattered." Read more...

  • Intact Family Services: Helping Parents Bring Their A-Game

    Date Posted: Feb 23, 2016

    Anyone who is a parent can identify with the stresses inherent with the role and that a network of support is essential to ease the intrinsic challenges of raising children. Two programs at Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI), Intact Family Services and Intact Family Recovery, provide vital support to parents who have few people to turn to at a crucial time when their children are at risk for abuse or neglect. Read more...

  • Residents at Kingston Place, Chicago: Giving Back

    Date Posted: Feb 22, 2016

    The second Monday of every month, Kingston Place residents are up and moving before most people are out of bed. Furniture is moved, tables are arranged, and piles of fresh, healthy food are moved in. Individuals from around Chicago’s South Shore community grab a box and their pick of fruits and vegetables. By noon, all of the food is gone. Read more...

  • The Kenmore Center in Chicago: Providing a Needed First Step in Recovery

    Date Posted: Feb 16, 2016

    An epic rate of heroin/opiate use is affecting Illinois residents, and the recently opened Medication Assisted Detox program at LSSI's Kenmore Center is an important first step in treatment. The program, which also helps people with alcoholism, medically stabilizes clients and works with them to secure the next level of care that is vital in their recovery. More importantly, it serves a critical need. Read more...

  • Roberta Dietrich: A Year-Round Passion for Helping Others

    Date Posted: Feb 15, 2016

    Christmas is long over, but Peoria resident Roberta Dietrich's efforts finding holidays presents for more than 75 children in LSSI's foster care program have begun. "I have to restrain myself from buying too many sizes 3, 4, and 5," Dietrich said. "I always have an overload." At Christmastime, Dietrich brings the gifts she's purchased throughout the year to her congregation, Peoria's Grace and Peace Lutheran Church. Read more...