A home for Civil War orphans
LSI’s story starts with children who needed a home.
|1864||German Lutherans opened a home for orphans of the Civil War in Andrew, Iowa. The home later relocated to Waverly and became the Bremwood Lutheran Children’s Home.|
|1870||Swedish Lutherans set aside 160 acres for a children’s home in Stanton, Iowa, and planted the roots of what would later become Lutheran Social Service of Iowa (LSS).|
|1890||Norwegian Lutherans open the Beloit Lutheran Children’s Home in Beloit, Iowa, which was later relocated to Ames.|
A legacy of hope
|1939||Lutheran Welfare Society is incorporated.|
|1944||Beloit begins new focus of serving children with mental health needs.|
|1947||Refugee program begins with the arrival of 10 children and one adult from Eastern Europe.|
|1955||Bremwood becomes the first accredited psychiatric residential treatment center for Iowa youth.|
|1963||Lutheran Welfare Society of Iowa changes its name to Lutheran Social Service of Iowa (LSS).|
|1960s||Civil Rights era projects are launched, such as the Black Mobile Street Worker project, economic development and counselor training for Native American tribes.|
|1970s||LSS begins resettling Southeast Asian refugees to Iowa.|
|1970s||In-home services begin, where trained staff literally “move in” with a family in crisis to keep a family intact.|
|1982||Beloit merges with LSS.|
|1990s||Home health care program grows, helping more elderly Iowans stay in their homes.|
|1990s||Programs for people with disabilities are expanded, tripling the number of clients.|
|2003||LSS integrates with Bremwood, forming Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI) and creating one of Iowa’s largest human service agencies.|
|2006||LSI established as a partner agency in Iowa KidsNet, a statewide collaboration that finds all of Iowa’s foster and adoptive homes.|
|2008||LSI, the Iowa affiliate of Lutheran Disaster Response, raises over $1 million to provide case management services for Iowans affected by the historic 2008 floods.|
|2010||LSI closes its historic refugee resettlement program, allowing it to reopen later in the year with a new focus on providing extended support services to refugees already living in Des Moines. This shift paves the way for new programs such as child care business development, elderly services, work readiness classes, English as a Second Language classes and agriculture programs.|
|2014||LSI marks 150 years of service.|
Over 150 years of service
LSI began as a safe place for children. Today LSI is one of Iowa’s largest human services agencies, supporting thousands of people each year.
Today we are still committed to making sure children have safe, permanent homes. We also support families, people with disabilities, people of refugee status, elderly adults and many others.
For over 150 years, LSI has stood beside Iowa’s most vulnerable. We invite you to join us in continuing this mission of service for many years to come.