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Today’s Front Line Hero: Lutheran Community Services Northwest

September 2, 2020


By Caitlyn Gudmundsen, Senior Manager of Program Development and Outreach 

Today’s Front Line Hero is Lutheran Community Services Northwest, which is thoughtfully supporting new Americans.

Lutheran Community Services (LCS) Northwest offers healing, help, and hope to vulnerable children, families, refugees, and others. LCS Northwest serves more than 40,000 people annually across Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, and provides supports for at-risk families, counseling, behavioral and mental health programs, after school programs for refugees, and citizen classes and legal assistance.

LCS Northwest is committed to inclusiveness, and it serves refugees from a variety of cultures and countries. To appropriately serve its diverse clients, LCS Northwest promotes culturally-specific behavioral health services, and its Multicultural Community Services (MCS) based in Portland recently shared principles that guide their work. To ensure the work is culturally appropriate, MCS is committed to programming being by the people, for the people, reflecting the understanding that individuals and communities know what is best for them. The programs are transdisciplinary, so behavioral health teams consist of staff with different roles and expertise, and care teams include peer support that is bilingual and bicultural. MCS is committed to deep equity, which is the realization that some people need more resource to improve outcomes. Though serving new Americans has been challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic, LCS Northwest is working to ensure that new Americans have access to resources, and is offering virtual citizenship days in September with free virtual legal help to fill out citizenship applications.

Thank you to LCS Northwest for your compassionate support of new Americans in your community!