Responding to the Gospel, Standing with LSSI

Lutheran Social Services in Illinois Mission and Mosaic Mission Statements

Since the economic downturn in 2008 many nonprofit organizations have dealt with significant financial challenges. Medicaid and other sources of government funding are often paired with gift dollars to fund programs. 

When things go wrong, we have little wiggle room.

Last week one of our sister organizations in Illinois shared the heartbreaking news that they are closing a large portion of their services due to a nearly seven month budget impasse in Illinois. 

According to a press release from Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI), they are owed more than $6 million dollars by the state of Illinois for services provided.

The decision to dismantle programs is a gut-wrenching process for all those involved.

LSSI’s mission statement starts in the same way that Mosaic’s does, with God and God’s call to serve our neighbors and the world. 

We are grateful for the work they do alongside us in Illinois, in Lutheran Services in America and as social ministry organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Mosaic’s faith heritage as a serving arm of the church is not one that we take lightly. We know that when our brothers and sisters in Christ suffer, we suffer too.

Members of Mosaic’s operations, human resources, advocacy and leadership teams have reached out directly to LSSI to offer whatever support we can in this difficult time.

In addition to expressing our support, we’d like to share a little bit about the work that Lutheran Social Services of Illinois does across the state. Their website reads:

“Serving Illinois since 1867, LSSI is a statewide, not-for-profit social service organization of the three Illinois synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). LSSI is the largest social service provider in the state, and last year served 73,000 people through 190 programs at 85 sites across Illinois.

The demographics of clients served by LSSI generally reflect those of Illinois’ population, with one important exception—more than 80 percent of clients report an annual household income under $15,000, compared to just 12 percent of all Illinois households. The organization provides critical programs for the state’s most vulnerable residents including foster care, adoption, mental health services, alcohol and drug treatment, affordable senior housing, residential programs.”

Please join us in prayer for all those affected: for the staff and leadership of LSSI, for political leaders in Illinois and for the thousands upon thousands of children, families, and individuals who will be deeply affected by these changes.

“O God, where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope. Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance. Where impossibilities close every door and window, grant imagination and resistance. Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination. By your Spirit move us to affirm the dignity of all people and to work for just laws that protect the most vulnerable in society, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.” (Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship.)

Mosaic has three locations in Illinois: Mosaic in Pontiac, Mosaic in Rockford and Mosaic in Macomb. Because much of the Medicaid payment for our services in Illinois is protected by a court mandate we have not been as affected by the budget impasse as other organizations in Illinois.

Comments

Thanks, Linda, for this call to stand with Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI), our neighbors whether or not we live in Illinois. The real-life impact of the budget impasse--on people served, on the staff who lost their positions, on the staff who remain--is heartbreaking. The faithful way LSSI leadership navigated this untenable situation, though, along with the generous response of long-time and new friends, brings good news to this sad story.

Thanks, Linda, for posting this. It is a tragedy that didn't need to happen. Its effects will be far reaching for the people involved, and very costly in the long run for the state of Illinois.

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