More than a half a Million People Cared for in 27 Years
About Lutheran Social Services of Nevada
35 years ago, a dedicated group of Lutheran church volunteers began serving meals and providing food and clothing to people in need out of some of the local churches. They started food and clothing closets and then began to grow and get organized. They became incorporated on December 20, 1996 and Lutheran Social Services was born. Since then LSSN has grown and served more and more people as it became a trusted grassroots organization known for its diverse services for individuals of many demographics, including: low-income, at-risk of homelessness, homeless, families with or without children, youth, veterans, people with disabilities, and senior citizens. In the last 25 years over a half a million individuals have been cared for by the agency. LSSN’s comprehensive social services include DigiMart, an online food pantry; mobile food distribution events called Open Air Markets; nutrition education classes and live cooking demonstrations; the Heart of the City Senior Meal Program and senior supportive services; mainstream benefits applications; and other safety net services. Our mission is to:
Express the Love of Christ by
Serving and Caring for People in Need
It all started in 1985 when a small team of Lutherans from local churches here in Las Vegas began collecting food and giving it to those who needed it most. They started a small pantry and clothing closet to help people out during the holidays.
The food pantry and clothing drive gained momentum until this group of Lutherans decided to become official. They registered with the state of Nevada and on December 20, 1996 Lutheran Social Services of Nevada was born.
LSSN, under the leadership of the new CEO Armena Mkhitaryan, moved to a larger facility in order to open an innovative new food pantry featuring a grocery style layout offering greater choices for people who needed help.
Pioneered the Open Air Mobile Market to provide fresh produce and other food in ‘food deserts’ around Southern Nevada.
Introduced a Nutrition Education Kitchen to provide clients with healthy cooking demonstrations.
Established the Heart of the City Senior Meal Program, which was the first congregate senior meal program funded from the State of Nevada Aging and Disability Division in the last 12 years.
Awarded the Partner Agency of the Year by Three Square Food Bank out of their 1,300 partners. Launched the first online digital food pantry system – DigiMart. Received the Las Vegas High Tech Exec Award for that system.
Partnered with Nevada Hand and the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Nevada to build the Boulder Collaborative Campus, a “one-stop-shop” social services center.
Named Nevada Women’s Philanthropy’s 2019 Impact Grant Recipient, enabling LSSN to expand our current DigiMart Food Pantry.
Increased services by 300% during the pandemic while simultaneously expanding programs.
Celebrated our 25th Anniversary on December 24, 2021 having served nearly a half a million people.
Lutheran Social Services of Nevada serves 3500 people per month with grocery assistance, employment services, housing, ID recovery, senior services, and other programs for the most vulnerable among us.
People served last year.
Pounds of food distributed last year.
Families housed last year.
LSSN News and Blog
I hope you are staying cool out in the Vegas heat! Thanks to our volunteers, board members, friends, and partners that helped us serve 338 children at our back to school event! Additionally, we served 202 kids at the Pearson Center and Hall Smith Elementary for a...
It has been 272 days since our last 100-degree day here in Las Vegas-a veritable winter here in Las Vegas especially with the Vegas Golden Knights winning the Stanley Cup in ice hockey. But here at Lutheran Social Services, things are heating up! Here are a few...
As I am writing, we have a production team at our headquarters doing a documentary on homelessness. The team has interviewed hundreds of people to identify root causes. Even though there are overarching societal issues at play, such as housing prices, every person has...
When I (Martin from LSSN) was about 15 my parents informed that henceforth, my brothers and I would have to purchase our own clothing. At the time during the summer I was a little league baseball umpire and earned $20 per game. I always had money and nice clothes at...
Over the last few months, we have had focus groups with several constituent groups with the purpose of listening and getting crucial feedback on our agency. We met with clients, volunteers, donors, and church partners. If you have something that you think that we...
According to a survey done by NBC, 50% of Americans go an entire day without a single meaningful conversation or interaction with another person. According to the National Library of Medicine, “Approximately one-quarter (24 percent) of community-dwelling Americans...
Let us spread the love and get ready for the 2023 Peanut Butter Wars to begin! This protein packed treat is loved by the whole family including kids, parents, grandparents... even some pets enjoy a little skippy! We will also utilize donated peanut butter at our...
Several school administrators nearby our Boulder Highway location have reached out to us to ask what services we can provide to some of their families in distress. There are five elementary schools within a one mile radius. We normally do an Easter basket drive for...
We are so excited to be a part of the employment journey for so many; our Employment Navigators just helped a young man from Venezuela get a great IT job! We also recently had our first hiring event with Amazon and 13 job seekers came to this instant hiring event. It...
Merry Christmas! Wishing you peace and joy and a blessed time together with your friends and family this season! We are very excited to report that we have shattered our old record for our Angel Tree Christmas drive. Last year we served 241 children from 101 families...
Las Vegas is a city in which it is very easy to find a low paying job but quite a challenge to find a job that can sustain a family. The definition of a sustainable income has changed dramatically because of inflation over the last 16 months. Many that were previously...
Mrs. Costa has been coming to our food pantry for many years. She is a senior and is a grandmother of 5 beautiful grandchildren. During her recent appointment for grocery assistance she thanked everyone at LSSN. At her previous appointment, she was able to get Easter...
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Armena Mkhitaryan has held the position of Executive Director of Lutheran Social Services of Nevada since August 2008. She has over 25 years of nonprofit management experience. Ms. Mkhitaryan is a graduate of Yerevan State University in her country of origin, Armenia. She received her Masters of Public Administration from the University of Delaware
in 2000 and has extensive nonprofit management experience. Ms. Mkhitaryan is fluent in Armenian, Russian and English. She is the author of two children’s books and numerous articles, poems and novels, and a translator of four books. Armena is a compassionate, visionary, strategic and action-oriented leader.
CHIEF PROGRAMS OFFICER
Cherry began her career at Lutheran Social Services of Nevada as an intern 9 years ago. Soon after, she was hired as a Case Coordinator for the Supportive Housing Program to prevent and alleviate homelessness in our community. In her new position as Chief Programs Director, Cherry not only oversees our
Empowerment Services Programs such as Rental Assistance, Supportive Housing, and Identification Recovery Services, but she also oversees our Nutrition and Senior Supportive Services. Cherry holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services.
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
DIRECTOR OF PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS
DIRECTOR OF GRANTS AND FUNDING
DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES