Lutheran Welfare Service of Northeastern Pennsylvania
Lutheran Welfare Service of Northeastern Pennsylvania began in 1956 when representatives from 36 regional Lutheran congregations met to establish a residential facility for the elderly. The initial facility housed six residents. Eventually, the need for a larger facility offering more specialized services for older persons prompted Lutheran Welfare Service to relocate.
A former hotel in downtown Hazleton was purchased and converted into a skilled nursing care and residential care facility known as the Home for the Aging. In 1974, Lutheran Welfare Service purchased the Hilltop Manor Convalescent Center and relocated to the new site, to be known as The Manor at Saint Luke Village. Later, a second skilled care facility was added to the site, The Pavilion at Saint Luke Village. Residential senior-housing accommodations were also added (in 2005, these health care centers, as well as the small senior-housing community, were sold to another organization).
Recognized for compassion and concern, Lutheran Welfare Service also created a program to aid the dying and their families. One of the first organized hospices in Pennsylvania, that program, now known as Diakon Hospice Saint John, offers services throughout most regions of eastern Pennsylvania.
In 1997, Lutheran Welfare Service affiliated with The Lutheran Home at Topton to form Lutheran Services Northeast, which on Jan. 1, 2000, affiliated with Tressler Lutheran Services to create Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries.