About Lutheran Community Care
Lutheran Community Care provides flexible and responsive social, developmental and spiritual services to individuals and families. With compassion and respect, we meet the physical, spiritual, emotional, social and economic needs of individuals and families in northern Ontario.
Under the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act of 2008, we carry out programs that aim to:
- Be fairer, so that everyone is treated the same way;
- Be flexible, so that people’s needs are addressed as best as possible; and
- Be sustainable, so that the system will be here for the future.
Caring services for everyone.
With compassion and respect, the physical, spiritual, emotional, social and economic needs of individuals and families in the Northern Region of Ontario are met, enabling them to develop to their potential as citizens.
There is a long history of Lutherans working together to provide spiritual and social services to people beyond congregational members in the Thunder Bay area. As early as 1959, a Lutheran institutional chaplain existed. Organizations such as the Lutheran Welfare Committee and Lakehead Lutheran Social Services were forerunners to Lutheran Community Care’s establishment in 1979.
For the first five years a managing board utilized volunteers and project funding to offer services to the community. In 1982, the fledgling agency received its first permanent government contract from the Ontario government to employ an Adult Protective Service Worker to serve adults with a developmental disability. In 1983 a “Forward in Remembrance” grant from the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod enabled the agency to employ its first Executive Director. That same year Lutheran Chaplaincy Services became a program of Lutheran Community Care solidifying the three-fold focus on social, developmental and spiritual services.
As the credibility of the organization grew so did service contracts with the Ontario government. Services to adults with a developmental disability became a significant focus of the organization but other service areas included trusteeship services, social services to seniors and counseling. Helping individuals with their housing needs grew to the point where in 1988 a separate corporation, Lutheran Community Housing Corporation, was started.
In the mid-1990’s the social work staff became unionized and was represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. The increasing complexity of the organization moved the Board gradually toward a policy governance structure and the adoption of the Relationship ModelTM of governance.
Throughout its history, Lutheran Community Care has remained responsive to changing community needs by introducing new programs and winding down others. Street Reach Ministries was established in 2004 expanding pastoral care from long term care facilities to the streets of Thunder Bay.
In July 2011, Lutheran Community Care was designated as the Application Entity for the Districts of Kenora, Rainy River, Thunder Bay, Algoma, Manitoulin and Sudbury under the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008. Across the province, the Application Entities became known as Developmental Services Ontario or DSO for short.
In 2011, the agency also became the provider for the direct funding program called Passport for the same Districts. The number of individuals receiving Passport funding has grown each year and exceeds 3500 individuals. The invoice reimbursement process for Passport has now been centralized for the entire province at Family Services Toronto.
Other regional functions have been assigned to the agency by the province such as Transition Coordination for youth with developmental disabilities that are in extended care agreements and Housing Navigators with the DSO. The agency also administers a specialized equipment, furnishing and training fund for Adult Developmental Service agencies throughout the North Region.
The regional services meant new satellite offices were established in Dryden, Sault Ste. Marie and Sudbury joining an already existing satellite office in Marathon.
In 2018, additional funding from the Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board expanded tenant supports beyond existing programming at Luther Court to other social housing providers, all with a focus on homelessness prevention.
- All people are equal.
- People are to be treated with respect, care and compassion.
- Individuals are entitled to receive choice enhancing services that are holistic, empowering, and culturally sensitive.
- The services provided must be flexible, creative and responsive to individual and community needs.
- We are accountable for the wise use of all entrusted resources.
- Preventative services and proactive approaches are an effective use of resources.
- Cooperative and collaborative approaches to service delivery are preferable.
- Our staff are passionate: advocating for equal rights and striving to empower every person they come across.
- Our staff think outside of the box: customizing services and support to a person’s individual and particular needs, helping them meet their own goals.
- Our staff are known: social workers and hospitals refer clients to us first if they can, knowing that we go the extra mile.
- Our staff are trusted: with decades of experience in the community, extensive networking and past successes to rely on, the community trusts Lutheran Community Care.
- Our staff are compassionate: taking evenings to sew curtains for a client and spending time singing familiar songs to seniors in homes.
- Our staff promote an open door policy: even if a person’s need does not fit into our mandate, no one has ever turned anyone away. If we can’t help them, we will find someone who can.
With your donation, you can help make our organization stronger and extend our programs to many people. If you’d like to donate to Lutheran Community Care’s programs and services, please visit our Donation page.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of Lutheran Community Care consists of representatives drawn from the Lutheran member congregations and from stakeholder groups that reflect the people we support in northern Ontario.
Individuals interested in serving on the Board as a stakeholder director are invited to click here for a printable copy of the Expression of Interest Board Director Form.
Karen Bishop – President
Sharon Melville – Vice-President
Jim Minor – Secretary
Lutheran Community Care benefits from volunteers that help in three distinct areas:
- Program volunteers enhance the services and activities led by staff in our Pastoral Care program and Street Reach Ministries:
- Pastoral Care volunteers help seniors in long-term care homes enjoy monthly worship services. Local clergy conduct the services, while other volunteers assist those with mobility issues to attend or play instruments to provide music.
- Street Reach volunteers help where needed at the Resource Centre on Victoria Avenue. They welcome those that drop in, prepare coffee and snacks, organize donations, and keep the Centre tidy.
- Fundraising volunteers support special events that fundraise for services like Street Reach Ministries, Pastoral Care to residents of long term care homes and Social Services for individuals and families. Volunteers help with ticket sales, hosting, the donation of goods and services, and joining as participants in The Grand Parade fundraising walk, a peer-to-peer fundraiser that helps us finance our services to seniors in the community and in care facilities.
- The Board of Directors lead the governance function of Lutheran Community Care and is comprised of a combination of stakeholders from districts throughout Northern Ontario and representatives from each of our member congregations. The Board meets five times a year and develops and maintains the organization’s mission and strategic plan, ensures fiscal responsibility, and ensures that policies and structures are in place.
For more information, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 807-345-6062 or email email@example.com