Lakewood Community Services Center (LCSC) was founded in 1982 by 12 Lakewood churches with the purpose of providing food assistance to Lakewood residents in need. For 27 years the organization maintained its presence out of storefronts with space limitations that significantly limited the scope and quality of the organization’s services.
In 2009 LCSC relocated to its current 5,200 square foot space, which has had a positive impact on the quality and the scope of the programs and services offered to the community. All LCSC staff has been hired since the relocation to provide appropriate and professional services to our consumers. The LCSC professional staff is supported by 60+ volunteers who share our commitment to providing the highest quality services in the most respectful environment.
In 2011 the Board of Directors unanimously approved changing the name of the organization from Lakewood Christian Service Center to Lakewood Community Services Center to better reflect our mission and the clients we serve.
During the 2011/2012 strategic planning process LCSC determined that we were not delivering on our mission to move clients toward self-sufficiency but remained focused on meeting basic needs. Staff and Board determined that offering onsite mental/behavioral health services was an important step to realizing the organization’s mission and positively impacting the health and well being of our clients. The collaboration with Murtis Taylor Human Services System, now in its eighth year, was the outcome of the strategic plan.
With funding from United Way of Greater Cleveland, LCSC launched the Summer Lunch and Enrichment Program, a free program for income-qualified Lakewood school aged children in grades K-5, with the goal of providing healthy lunches and activities for kids who might otherwise not have the opportunity for important socialization during the schools’ summer break. Each summer eighty kids, under the supervision of qualified staff, enjoy healthy and culturally appropriate lunches and an exciting menu of activities and field trips in and around Lakewood that include swimming lessons, library time, bowling at Mahall’s, art and music experiences at Beck Center for Performing Arts and outdoor activities at the Lake Erie Science and Nature Center and the Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Nature Center. This signature free program has more than tripled in registration since its launch.
In response to COVID-19, LCSC made the bold move to continue emergency food service to income qualified residents of Lakewood, Rocky River, and Westlake by pivoting from its 30+ year history of walk-in food service to 100% home delivery. Over 1,000 households continue to receive deliveries every month. Two delivery drivers manage five weekly routes each as we continue to meet our goal of making sure no one who needs it goes without food. Healthy and convenient food options include fresh fruit and vegetables, protein, cheese and eggs each month. There are no plans to revert to walk- in service as home delivery is especially valuable to seniors, individuals with disabilities, and those who rely on public transportation.
Two years into the pandemic, LCSC continues to provide support and services, with the goal being to impact the safety and stability of our community and to help instill hope for a better future in all our clients.