Since 1882, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (LSS) has empowered communities to better their health and well-being. Inspired by Christ, LSS helps improve the lives of those they serve. LSS history began when Pastor E.J. Homme opened a home for orphaned children in Wittenberg, Wisconsin.
Today, LSS is one of the largest and most experienced health and human services organizations in the Midwest. The organization’s services extend across Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, helping people all along the lifespan with services as essential as housing or in-person cares and as life-changing as adoption or treatment for addiction and mental illness.
Your gifts made through the LSS Foundation can and will make an impact on the mission work of LSS. Read some of their client’s stories of success below.
Over 15 years Alissa and her husband have had the privilege of fostering 35 different children, most of whom have been reunited with their birth families. Three of the 35 have become permanent members of what is currently the Broughton family.
Alissa was also adopted as a baby and was curious about her birth parents for most of her young life. “I was adopted into a great family,” she says. “My own adoption experience drew me to providing a good home for children who need one.”Every child that has come into the Broughton home required extra services. Many were in need of counseling. Most had Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s) at school for specialized instruction and related services.
For Alissa, the bottom line is simple. “No two children are alike. However, they all have a desire to be loved and accepted. We love 100% and give 110% of ourselves to them no matter how long they stay.” Foster children like Alissa’s are embraced in a family that cares for and supports them, and your partnership makes that possible.
Adoption and Foster Care
23-year-old Kelsey was moving through her day-to-day, functioning just fine with an underlying mental health disorder…or so she thought. Two separate car accidents were enough to trigger her past mental and emotional traumas.
Kelsey came to LSS expressing a need to address issues with anxiety. Ultimately, our counselors helped her to process her traumas, express her emotions and identify coping skills. She worked through her anger and set an intention on developing clear and healthy boundaries with friends.
Today, Kelsey works full-time, attends college courses and remains focused on her recovery. “I have learned to manage my anxiety, set realistic expectations for myself and those around me. I am now able to process any future situation that could provoke my anxiety.”
Mary was determined to make positive changes this spring. She recognized that her substance use was consuming her.
Mary wanted to gain control over her drinking and explore ways to improve her relationship with her daughter. She took a voluntary leave of absence from her job in March and was referred to LSS. She actively participated in Intensive Outpatient Program groups as well as community support groups that were held via Telehealth.
Through the group process, Mary learned new ways of coping from her counselor and the feedback of her peers. Now clean and sober, Mary says she is living the life she feels she deserves.
school centered Mental Health
Emily’s story demonstrates the powerful transformation that takes place when we join together. Emily was plagued by mental health issues. Too anxious to sleep and entertaining suicidal thoughts, Emily enrolled in the LSS school-centered mental health program.
LSS therapists and family coaches work with Emily on managing anxiety. They also meet with her teachers, guidance counselors, school administrators, and her family to educate, advocate, encourage and offer resources that will help with their understanding of Emily’s needs, as well as their own.
Now, for the first time in over a year, Emily is sleeping soundly and her suicidal thoughts have lifted. She is taking more interest in her schoolwork. Her appetite has improved and she feels more hopeful.
Single mom Nicole was thankful to have found our Rapid Rehousing services. She was nearing the end of a three-month substance use treatment program but did not have stable housing options. Nicole was in imminent need of food, rental and utility assistance, and household items.
“Nicole is just this amazing human who came from a really rough background and rough childhood, said Kim Frost, Case Manager and 30-year veteran of LSS. “She has worked tremendously hard to go in a positive direction. LSS was able to help Nicole move from homelessness to stability in a relatively short period of time.”
Additional supportive services including job search help, child care, substance use counseling, etc. gave Nicole the skills and confidence she needed to gain independence, become self-sufficient and achieve goals for her and her children.