Lutheran Social Services Northern California programs.

While several programs are overseen by Lutheran Social Services of Northern California, a focus of the agency is on meeting housing needs. There is no emergency assistance provided. Services can prevent homeless, rehouse those that need an affordable place to live, and provide shelter. Staff and volunteers from the non-profit charity are committed to helping those that are struggling in San Francisco, Sacramento, and other northern counties.

In Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties, Lutheran Social Services has been helping the homeless and providing assistance for many years. While the focus will be on prevention, and they may have referrals for rent help, other resources are available as well. Note they do not provide emergency financial aid or immediate housing needs.

The agency has many partnerships with non-profits and government agencies that are used to help clients and provide them ways to better serve their needs. They work with, and receive funding from the Transitional Housing Program Plus, US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), SHRA (Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency), charities, and also the Department of Human Assistance.

Homeless families, individuals, and youth can use the transitional housing programs, and more information on the options are below. After going through that process, the goal of Lutheran Services is to move people into permanent housing. These services are for the disabled, families, single parents, and youth, among others. Clients will also be enrolled into case management.

The transitional programs provide formerly homeless families and recently evicted people with a safe place to address the issues that led to them falling behind on their rent and becoming homeless. Lutheran case managers also create individual plans with the clients in order to help meet each family’s needs. This can also include credit repair, employment/income and budgeting classes. A diverse set of clients use the transitional housing. It can help single mothers, the disabled, victims of domestic violence, children, veterans, and other adults.

Youth and teenagers emerging from foster care in Sacramento California can also get assistance with housing needs from the Lutheran Social Services of Northern California. One program known as Adolfo is a permanent supportive housing program for homeless emancipated foster youth that are disabled. In order to be placed onto a Lutheran Service housing list, the applicant  will need to contact, Sacramento Steps Forward, (916) 577-9770. They will complete an assessment with the individual and then be able to make the appropriate referral.





Building Bridges offers support for tenants and renters. Case managers work with qualified participants in their own homes and living environments. They will provide clients with advocacy, information on rental assistance programs, and work with landlords as needed. The goal is to offer families the support they need to become responsible tenants.

Unfortunately many people that are leaving homelessness need to overcome multiple barriers and challenges and they often have minimal support in this process. So Lutheran Service case managers that are part of the Building Bridges Program provide supportive services and guidance to program participants to help them pay the rent on their permanent housing. It can help the disabled and people with medical issues. Case managers help tenants develop case plans, gain jobs, and find employment. All of this can lead to increased self-sufficiency and a more stable housing situation.

A program known as Connections works to prevent young people from Sacramento and northern California who have been homeless from returning to that stage. The non-profit will strive to foster their personal and economic self-sufficiency and also strengthen their support systems. The Lutheran program may provide up at most two years of low cost, transitional housing for homeless youth.

Mutual Housing at the Highlands was created by the Sacramento Mutual Housing Association (SMHA) and also Lutheran Social Services. Other groups have helped as well. Together they offer innovative housing for low income families and also for chronically homeless individuals. The unit is based at 6010 34th Street, at Freedom Park Drive, North Highlands, California. A number of permanent supportive housing units and apartments are also dedicated for homeless individuals with disabilities.

Project Hope is for youth. It provides comprehensive and intensive case management services to assist them with becoming self-sufficient. Social workers help them create obtainable goals and gain independence. Lutheran Services Project Hope encourages personal and economic self-sufficiency through strengthening support systems. They focus on financial literacy, developing employment skills, and healthy living.




Lutheran Social Services works with other non-profits. For example, youth can benefit from One Stop career centers, Department of Health and Human Services Independent Living Program (ILP), Job Corps and local churches. In addition to housing, they can be provide with basic needs such as clothing and food.

One project for disabled adults with minor children. Saybrook Permanent Supportive Housing provides an integrative, compassionate and comprehensive support system for individuals with a disability and their families. It helps those that are coping with mental health disabilities, as well as with drug addictions.

The Application to Lutheran Social Services of Northern California must be completed on-line at SHRA will maintain the waitlist and provide initial screening. After applying, and once your name is sent to Lutheran Social Services by SHRA, LSS will call to establish program eligibility, and will conduct an interview with the person seeking help from Saybrook. Property Management will call when there is an opening then will do a background and credit check.

Lutheran Social Services of Northern California in Concord and Stockton also runs transitional and permanent housing. These resources are for income qualified individuals and families coming from homelessness.

Mi Casa is the name of one program for youth age 18-24. It provides both housing and comprehensive case management that allows young adults and teens who have emancipated from foster care to focus on becoming self-sufficient over the mid to long term. Each and every Mi Casa participant creates obtainable goals with the support of their case manager.

Any challenges to achieving these housing goals are addressed in both the short- and long-term. This can include financial aid, rent help, and more. Case managers reinforce individual strengths and to establish needed assistance including healthy living skills, employment, and overall financial literacy.





Applicants will need to be working toward education and/or employment or already have a job. Lutheran Social Services will also require that they pay rent up to 30% of their income and they also need to save money. Mi Casa from Lutheran Services is based in Concord, CA and is for homeless emancipated foster youth. Project Hope is based in Stockton, California, and this resource is for homeless youth as well. Please contact the Sacramento Office for more information.

San Francisco Lutheran Social Services focuses on money management services and referrals. Lutheran Social Services provides money management services to residents of these units. They work with the Department of Public Health to coordinate this.

In general, the non-profit will help clients set financial goals and assists them with entitlements, budgeting, referrals for free legal aid and civil rights representation as needed. The services will ideally assist clients and enable them to live more stable and productive lives and have the means to pay for apartments or homes on their own.

For many people in San Francisco who are homeless or behind on their rent, individuals are often challenged by lack of employment, co-occurring physical disabilities, low wages, mental health, and substance use issues. So case managers try to help families overcome these challenges.

For those that do need transitional housing or shelter in San Francisco County, then the Department of Public Health and the Direct Access to Housing (DAH) program may be an option for you. It provides low income, housing vouchers, and other subsidized housing assistance for homeless adults. The focus is on those with challenges that have been cycling in and out of emergency services in the past. DHA will help each tenant achieve greater residential stability and improve their well-being.  The target population for the San Francisco Direct Access to Housing Program (DAH) is low-income and unemployed individuals with an extensive history of past evictions and homelessness.

Some of the transitional housing units are known as Pacific Bay Inn, Edith Witt, Windsor, Le Nain, Armstrong Senior Housing, Broderick St., Camelot, CCR, Folsom-Dore, Mission Creek, Parkview, Polk Senior Housing, Mosaica, Glide/149 Mason, Coronet, DCIP, Richardson, Dolores, scattered site units such as Knox, Isabel, Bayanihan, William Penn, Eddy St., Arlington, Dalt, Ritz, Ambassador, Dorel, Oakwood and Cambridge.

Lutheran Social Services provides money management services to residents of these units. They work with the Department of Public Health to coordinate this. In general, the non-profit will help clients set financial goals and assists them with entitlements, budgeting, referrals for free legal aid and civil rights representation as needed.

Other Lutheran Social Services Northern California sites include Bernal Gateway Apartments, Polk Street Housing, Folsom-Dore Housing, and Mosaica Apartments. As noted, there is no emergency aid available but rather the possibility of some transitional housing. The main offices for the non-profit are as follows.

Sacramento office - 4390 47th Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95824, 916.453.2900
San Francisco Lutheran Center - 290 8th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, call 415.581.0891
Concord Office is at 1465 Civic Court, Bldg D Ste 810, Concord, California 94518, telephone - 925.825.1060



By Jon McNamara

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