In April 1936, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints formally organized a welfare program to help Church members affected by the Great Depression. Today, that welfare program has expanded to all corners of the globe and assists members and people of all faiths or no faith at all. And as stated by the Church, “The welfare program … is not only a way to help members in temporarily difficult circumstances, but it also stresses self-reliance as a way of life, including education, health, employment, family home production and storage, family finances, and spiritual strength.”
Today, the Church’s Welfare and Self-Reliance Services include Family Services, Employment Services, the Humanitarian Center, Deseret Industries, and bishops’ storehouses.
- Church Family Services includes counseling services, consultation services for Church leaders, COVID-19 support, single expectant parent services, support groups, adoption consultation and referrals, emergency response psychosocial services.
- Church Employment Services includes online job boards, job search skills workshops, self-help resources, employment centers, personalized employment coaching, webinars, and resources for starting a side business.
- The Church’s Humanitarian Center, located in Salt Lake City, prepares and ships humanitarian supplies like clothing, hygiene and school kids, emergency medical modules, and quilts. At any given time approximately 200 individuals—primarily refugees and immigrants—are trained at the center and attend English classes.
- Deseret Industries is a nonprofit business enterprise owned and operated by the Church, designed to provide employment and to aid in the economic rehabilitation of disadvantaged persons. With 45 stores across the western U.S., it provides training, on-the-job experience, career and technical education, business partnerships, community partnerships, and a new life for gently used consumer products through its retail stores.
The Church has also increased its emphasis on emotional self-reliance with the “Emotional Resilience” self-reliance course and manual, now available in 15 languages.
Here are just a few by-the-numbers graphics from Church News on some of the Church Welfare and Self-Reliance initiatives.
To find more information and numbers about the Church’s Family Services and Church service missionaries, visit Church News.