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Our Mission: Serving people as an expression of the love of Christ. Our Vision: We connect people with families and communities, empower them to live their fullest life possible, and create a ripple effect of transformation. A social ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Samaritas is not just for Lutherans. The church has been meeting people’s needs since the early 1900s when a Lutheran "city missionary" arrived in Detroit to provide services to the poor. From the very beginning, Samaritas has reached out to individuals regardless of their religion, race, sexual orientation or ethnicity. The organization was incorporated as the Lutheran Inner Mission League in 1934. Today, Samaritas spans the state’s Lower Peninsula with more than 70 program sites in 40 cities. Samaritas diverse staff share a dedication to serving their fellow humans by doing the right thing, for the right reasons, every day.
Samaritas’ New American services help newly arrived refugees navigate their confusing and overwhelming first months in the United States. With the support of the U.S. Department of State’s Reception and Placement (R&P) Program, Samaritas - a partner agency of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) - provides newly arrived refugees from 15 different countries with the essential services and support they need to begin to rebuild their lives and take steps toward becoming U.S. citizens. Samaritas provides each refugee with the support to obtain self-sufficiency and become contributors to society within one year of arrival.
As one of the largest refugee resettlement agencies in the state, Samaritas has resettled thousands of people from dozens of countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Central and South America. Samaritas has been the Michigan affiliate of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service since the 1950s.