Act Compassionately. Serve Humbly. Lead Couragously.
Humbly called to serve, we help improve the health and wellbeing of those most in need. We compassionately provide quality services for: a child in crisis with no one to turn to, a family in turmoil, a loved one struggling with mental health or addiction, an elderly person or a person with a disability needing support to live independently and successfully in the community, or a refugee who is fleeing from war and persecution.
Over the last century we have lived our values and co-created programs, along with our partners, to address our states’ most complex challenges for multiple generations. We have changed and innovated new programs to ensure positive outcomes and impact, shown courage by providing services that others have been unwilling to provide, and led with love and compassion – always believing in the infinite worth of those we serve and helping them realize their potential.
A child in crisis with no one to turn to…A family in turmoil facing eviction…People come for many reasons. And every day, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan - or LSS - removes barriers and strengthens families. LSS is called to act compassionately, serve humbly and lead courageously for children and families.
Unexpected Story of Family
Sara and Dave Keller expected to welcome an infant into their home and family through LSS’s domestic adoption program. During their wait, a brief introduction to the LSS Public
Adoption program forever changed their hearts and their lives.
In 2018, the LSS adoption team introduced the Kellers to three siblings, all under the age of five, in need of placement and on a path towards adoption. Sara and Dave welcomed them into
their home and are now taking steps to grow their family of two to a family of five! After seeing this incredible story unfold, the Keller’s brother-in-law learned of the tremendous need for foster families. He called LSS and attended one of our informational meetings. He is now a foster parent and has welcomed a placement of siblings in his home.
LSS has more than 80 waiting families in our domestic adoption program. With fewer women choosing to make an adoption plan, LSS identified a win-win situation to assist families interested in private adoption to open their hearts and homes to the idea of growing their families through public adoption. Beyond the initial placement, LSS guides families through the entire adoption process, ensuring they are supported and well-prepared to parent the children for whom they are providing a forever family.
Young adults struggling with opioid addiction…Middle schoolers depressed and contemplating suicide…People come for many reasons. And every day, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan – or LSS - removes barriers and heals communities. LSS is called to act compassionately, serve humbly and lead courageously for children and families.
A story of hope
Our LSS Care Coordinator, Courtney, not only saved my husband’s and my life, but also the life of our son. I had hit a brick wall and literally had no idea where to turn when she was dropped into our lives. Our son at the time was a “frequent flyer” of the psychiatric units both near us and away. Our son suffered from anxiety, learning disabilities, bi-polar disorder, gender dysphoria, self-harm, suicidal ideations, as well as auditory and visual hallucinations. I was staying up all night to watch him so he wouldn’t harm himself.
I was exhausted, scared, and at my wits end. From the first time that we met in our home I was hopeful that this was the person to finally help. Courtney was supportive to the entire family, and was always available when we needed her. After our son spent 3 months in the hospital she was the one that found a facility that would educate, provide therapy, a structured program and most of all, support and safety.
After approximately 10 months, Courtney found a group home that proved to be just the fit and structure we needed to help with the transition home. Courtney continued to work with us after our son returned home for the next year.
Our son is now a junior in high school, an A/B student, has a close circle of friends. and involved in activities. He has not self-harmed in almost 2 years, has more productive open communication with myself and my husband. He has learned to manage his emotions and distinguish between what he can handle and when he needs to ask for help. He is genuinely happy for the first time in 5 years. As a mom it is nice to sleep at night and not have to worry. Courtney not only gave us peace of mind, but she also gave us our son back.
The day that we said goodbye was a tearful one. Not only was she a support figure to our son and our family, she had also become part of our family.
Creating Avenues for Belonging
An aging parent needing daily cares…A woman with a disability wanting to live independently. People come for many reasons. And every day, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan – or LSS - removes barriers and Creates Avenues for Belonging for residents. LSS is called to act compassionately, serve humbly and lead courageously for children and families.
GAINING INDEPENDENCE, TOGETHER
Matthew and Mitchell are young adult, twin brothers who have reached new independence with the help of our IRIS Connections program.
Both brothers are on the autism spectrum, and have been working with Connections Consultant, Kerry Walker. Kerry loves to put her
deep community knowledge to work for IRIS (Include, Respect, I-Self-Direct) participants – so they can connect to resources and get what they truly desire for their lives.
Matthew and Mitchell independently filled out applications for The Orchards Student Living at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, and were accepted! They share a room in a suite and share common space with other students.
Matthew recently shared some new experiences with Kerry. “Matthew attempted to do laundry, and got a little confused but he figured out who to call in the apartment complex for help.” Kerry says, “The thing that got me the most is when Matthew told me a story about making supper. He was home alone one evening and he was to warm up a meal he and his mother had pre-made.” This particular evening Matthew checked the turkey burger to see if it was warm enough, and poked the tater tots to see if they were done. And then he sat down and cried. Matthew said, “It was the first time I did it all by myself.”
Healthy communities filled with people using their
God-given gifts to serve.
Act compassionately. Serve humbly. Lead courageously.
We believe each individual's situation is unique and personal. By accompanying them on their journey, we’re better able to show love, dignity and respect.
We believe we are stronger working together. We combine our unique gifts with those of others to serve a greater good, strengthening the whole community as a result.
We believe leadership takes courage. We explore options that challenge the status quo and better enable us to assist others in reaching their objectives.
We believe curiosity helps us to find better ways to make an impact. We make change possible by reading what’s on the horizon and embracing bold new ideas.