Zion Endowment Awarded to Support Returning Citizens

LSS has been awarded a grant from the Mission Endowment Fund of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waterville to support a new program that will serve people who are returning to the community from incarceration in jail or prison. In this program, an LSS employee will work with people at no cost to them to help them to overcome the obstacles encountered when returning to the community, such as finding suitable and stable housing, arranging for transportation, and finding and keeping a job. Social research shows that when these needs are not met in stable and dependable ways, the likelihood of returning to criminal behavior rises and people are more likely to return to jail or prison.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus mentions that the visitation of those who are in prison is a service that is considered to be rendered unto Him. This supportive service to “these who are members of (Jesus’) family” will be provided in cooperation with the Citizen Circles at Salem Lutheran Church and Wesley United Methodist Church in Toledo, and may also work with local probation and parole departments, depending on the person.

Feed Your Neighbor food pantries at both churches and the LSS Toledo Emergency Choice Food Pantry may also be used, depending on need. In addition to providing the service and support of the LSS employee, funds may also be used to help with paying other costs of returning to the community, such as: educational group fees, bus tokens, cab fare, gas cards, driver’s license restoration fees, clothing for job interviews, devotional and other self help materials, and other needs that may arise.

To provide this service, LSS will build on already existing relationships with Toledo Municipal Court Probation, Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities (TASC), United Way, and 211. Relationships are being developed with the Lucas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and Re-entry Coalition.

The Mission Endowment Fund of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waterville recently awarded $108,000 to 21 nonprofit organizations for 

the coming year, and out of that LSS was awarded $7,500 for this citizen re-entry outreach program. The endowment fund is celebrating its 14th year and has awarded $1,479,600 since 2005. 

Applicants are sponsored by Zion’s members. Recipients include a broad range of regional, national and global nonprofit organizations that share the Fund’s goal of “Bringing Mission to Life.”

Body • Spirit • Mind


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Administrative Offices

2149 Collingwood Blvd.
Toledo, OH 43620

Phone: 419-243-9178
Fax: 419-243-4450

Email: toledo@lssnwo.org

Lutheran Social Services of Northwestern Ohio

Lutheran Social Services of Northwestern Ohio (LSSNWO) is a faith-based agency founded in 1911 by the Fremont Conference of the American Lutheran Church. LSSNWO is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and recognized by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS). More than 200 Lutheran congregations in Northwestern Ohio are corporate members of LSSNWO. Lutheran Social Services also is a member of one of the nation’s largest service organization – Lutheran Services of America.