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Within the Lutheran theological framework and in response to the commitment of the Christian church to love and justice, Lutheran Social Services of New York, as a professional social service agency of the church, seeks to enable people of all ages to reach their full human potential through the provision of therapeutic, educative, residential and preventative services.
In the year 1886, eleven Lutheran congregations in the metropolitan New York area created the Bethlehem Orphan and Half-Orphan Asylum, to take care of children who were orphaned due to a severe outbreak of influenza within the German communities of New York City. Dedicated on May 30, 1888, the asylum's mission was to care for and educate orphans and half-orphans to be Christians and useful members of society. Thus began the Lutheran presence in what would become, over time, an organized effort at child welfare in New York and would result in the creation of Lutheran Social Services of New York.
Lutheran Social Services currently has 10 "LIFE" Programs serving people in need; elder support, advocating on behalf of children & families, hunger prevention, affordable housing, volunteer programs, immigration and refugee settlement, international & domestic adoptions, special needs children schools, disaster preparation, foster care and aging out of foster care.