Embracing the Future

Our 2017 Annual Report


Dear Friends,

For over 130 years, Lutheran Social Services of New York has truly been Embracing the Future through the myriad programs and services we provide to assist over 7,000 New Yorkers each day. This vital work is carried out by a passionate and talented workforce of nearly 650 employees, dozens of community partners and donors and supporters like you which makes LSSNY one of the leading social service organizations in New York.

I began my role as CEO and President this past February and have worked closely with our Board of Directors and executive leadership team to bolster our strategic vision. This included an overnight retreat in upstate New York which allowed us to come together in a unified and focused way to develop and improve our programs and services to best meet the future needs of our neighbors in need.

This Annual Report will highlight some crucial accomplishments and reflects our programmatic accomplishments; yet, our work continues.

Building on these successes of 2017, I look forward to our continued partnership, and together, Embracing the Future.


Damyn Kelly, President & CEO

15,000 additional clients served by our Long Island food pantry.


1,150 toddlers and pre-school children educated.


820 individuals and families received immigration legal services.


450 formerly homeless adults living comfortably in 6 residences.

Dear Friends,

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Zoë Jasper, Board Chair

Early LIFE

The Early LIFE program is an early childhood education program of excellence, providing center- and home-based programs for children, ages birth-5 years. The 10 Early LIFE centers are more than daycare centers—they provide quality educational experiences while nurturing the social, emotional and physical needs of children. As part of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services Early Learn Head Start program, the family unit—including the child, parents and family caregivers—is the focus of the program. In addition to providing enriching educational opportunities for children, the program works in partnership with parents to ensure that the families served have access to health care, community resources, government benefits and educational and employment opportunities. Parents sit on the program’s governance body so that their voice is heard, and programming is responsive to families’ needs.

Program Enhancements
An expansion at the Early LIFE Park Avenue center by opening a new Early Head Start classroom for 2-year-olds. As demand for quality toddler services has increased, especially among families living below the poverty line, the program has been able to increase capacity.

Teacher Training
Using evidence-based methodology and results from classroom evaluative tools, like the Classroom Assessment Scoring Scale (CLASS), Early LIFE teachers and staff received training and coaching on ways to enhance teacher interaction with students to extend children’s cognitive skills, problem solving ability, conversational skills and vocabulary.

Family Child Care Network
The Family Child Care (FCC) Network is a group of nurturing home-based providers who care for children, ages 6 weeks to 4 years of age. Licensed by the NYC Department of Health, Bureau of Day Care, every provider attends to a child’s social, emotional and physical wellbeing, providing loving care for young children with the goal of helping them become ready to learn and succeed in school and life.