Among the immigrants making their way to Detroit at the end of the 19th century were many Lutherans from Germany and Scandinavia. They followed the Biblical imperative to help others in need especially fellow immigrants with food, clothing and jobs.
Congregational outreach efforts came together in 1909 in the Missionsbund (Mission Federation), a group dedicated to "inner mission" (social service) work. The Lutheran Inner Mission League of Greater Detroit was incorporated in 1934, changing its name soon afterward to The Lutheran Charities. Its ministry grew to include child welfare work, a settlement house and services to the elderly. In 1959, the organization merged with a similar group in Saginaw and was renamed Lutheran Social Services of Michigan.
Samaritas is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and is the largest faith-based non-profit human service organization in the state. Samaritas spans the Lower Peninsula with more than 70 programs in 40 cities. These include foster care, adoption,subsidized housing, nursing homes, community centers and services to the homeless, refugees and persons with developmental disabilities.
Motivated to serve others as an expression of the love of Christ, Samaritas helps those in need regardless of religion, race, ethnicty or national origin.