‘Exciting’ affiliation of social service agencies announced

Lutheran Community Services Northwest and Compass Housing Alliance have signed a non-binding letter of intent for Compass to become an affiliate of LCSN, creating one of the region’s largest non-profit alliances providing support to people in the lowest income bracket, those experiencing homelessness, and under-served populations in the Pacific Northwest.

As affiliated agencies, LCSN would gain connections with 14 affordable-housing properties, four enhanced-services shelters, a client day center providing mail delivery, banking, showers, laundry, medical care, and housing navigation services, and Compass would benefit from LCSN’s programs in behavioral health, crime victim, child, youth and family, refugee, immigrant supportive services, and aging and independent living.

Combined, the organizations would serve more than 50,000 people each year and employ more than 800 people in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

LCSNWs regional offices in those states include one in Tacoma whose programs serve older adults–Senior Companion, Dementia Services, homecare, Meals on Wheels, Santa for Seniors, Senior Friends, RSVP, and Senior Media Services. The latter publishes Senior Scene and Where to Turn.

The LCSN-Compass affiliation “is an exciting opportunity for the organizations and Puget Sound,” said David Duea, chief executive officer of LCSN. He noted both agencies “are celebrating 100 years of continuous service and have a similar history of partnering with individuals and families in our community. It is at the heart of what we do.”

Compass has sought collaborative relationships with organizations that can further its efforts and broaden access to human services, said Mary Steele, executive director of the Seattle-based agency

. “Housing is a fundamental factor in people’s health and well-being,” Steele said. “Good-quality, affordable and safe housing is essential for people to experience stability, growth, and community. By coupling more human services and housing, we’ll be an even stronger partner for the people and the communities we support.”

The Compass housing program includes independent-living units for seniors.