The Lutheran Social Services of Alaska operates across the state, including in cities such as Anchorage and Juneau. They are one of the state’s leading non-profit social service and charity agencies and provide assistance to low-income families and individuals. They offer emergency aid to those that are struggling and also partner with other groups such as the United Way of Anchorage and local churches.
All too often people need to make the really impossible choice between paying for medications, heating their homes, or buying food. Too many residents in Alaska do not have the money to purchase the groceries or pay the rent for the roof over their head. Other people struggle with medical issues, substance abuse or mental health issues.
Some of their key partner groups include the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the United Way of Anchorage, Northwest District of the LCMS, the Church Missouri Synod, as well as Alaska Synod. Many other caring and concerned congregations, churches and individuals throughout the state and country also donate and contribute.
The Direct Assistance Voucher Program can help meet basic needs. The vouchers can be used to pay for Birth Certificates, state IDs such as Driver’s Licenses, life-sustaining prescription medications and work appropriate clothing. The vouchers and financial aid from Lutheran Services help lesson financial strain and aid with job searches, overall health, and continued employment. They can only be applied for at most once per year.
Lutheran Social Services of Alaska food pantry is their largest assistance program. There is a Mobile unit as well as the main LSSA Food Pantry. Tens of thousands of individuals from Alaska and Anchorage use the center for groceries, fresh fruits, and other items. Low income qualified clients also receive government commodities and also get to choose from donated food. The organization will also work to offer additional government commodity boxes for the disabled, seniors and children. There is an application required. The pantries are always in need of volunteers and food donations, so contribute if you can.
Medical transportation is coordinated by LSSA. The center provides rides to and from medical appointments via free or low cost taxi vouchers. Clients are eligible for up to six rides per year, but at most one per month. The rides can be scheduled over the phone by calling (907) 272-0643, but schedule them in advice with enough notice as spaces for transportation is very limited.
Housing from the Transitional Living Program is for the homeless and those facing eviction. It can lead to self-sufficiency and help clients gain more sustainable and stable housing. There is a Lutheran Services sober living facility as well as low income housing.
As part of the transitional housing program, LSSA of Alaska also creates a savings-trust account in each residents name and asks that they save at least 30% of their total income towards it. The money will be used in the future by the individual so they have a solid footing when they are ready to live on their own. So Lutheran Services will also require all clients to hold a job and maintain full-time employment.
One example of a housing site is the Roosevelt Apartments. This is a residential facility for individuals with long-term behavioral health issues. The Lutheran Services run apartments provide subsidized and independent living homes as well as a safe environment to the poor and guests.
Community partnerships and seasonal programs are offered in partnership with other non-profits. Events are held across Anchorage. The programs include Neighborhood Gift, Thanksgiving Blessing, Christmas aid and HUGSS and Coats for Kids.
Association for Stranded Rural Alaskans, or ASRA, will include transportation and emergency, short term shelter. Lutheran Services offers help to individuals who are stranded and can assist them in getting to medical facilities outside of their hometown due to some form of financial hardship.
The ASRA program may be able to assist patients who are flown into Alaskan cities other than their own. They can get support with needed medical treatment but maybe they have been stranded due to financial hardship. The funds paid out for this will need to be repaid over time so that the program can help others in the future.
The main office is at 1303 W. 33rd Ave, Anchorage, Alaska 99503. Call 907-272-0643. As noted, programs are offered across the state, sometimes by referrals. In general, this organization and its partners are one of the main places to turn to for help.
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