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Starling Community Services.

Lutherwood Changes Name

Steps Kids Finisher Certificate 1

[Waterloo, April 29, 2024]: Today, Lutherwood announced it is changing its name to Starling Community Services as of Monday May 13, 2024.

Lutherwood has grown. We started 54 years ago as a Lutheran Church of Canada vision to support 10 “troubled” youth at a time when the term “children’s mental health” did not yet exist. While we remain proud of our heritage, we have grown into an independent, multi-service agency that annually supports about 16,300 people with diverse backgrounds and identities in Waterloo Region and Wellington County.

“A few years ago, we noticed that members of some equity-deserving communities were at times hesitant to access our services,” said John Colangeli, CEO of Lutherwood. “When we talked with grass roots organizations, community leaders, and our staff, we realized that we needed a new name that builds on our foundation of successfully supporting clients and also reflects the welcoming and equitable services that are accessible to everyone.”

‘Starling’ was chosen as the birds are adaptable and resilient, and they work together for protection, warmth, food, and shelter. The root word ‘star’ represents guidance (as in stars) and excellence (gold star), and ‘community services’ adds a more descriptive aspect to our name.

The organization’s 15-yearold tagline ‘Caring People. Strengthening Lives.’ remains. “Our staff members and clients see it as is a powerful statement that reflects who we are and what we do,” concluded Colangeli. “That part hasn’t changed. We are still the same people offering the same great service, and living by the same values as we deliver on our mission and vision.”

To see our short introductory video, please click here.

Starling Logo full colour

Starling Community Services (formerly Lutherwood) is a progressive, not-for-profit that annually provides children’s mental health, employment, and housing services to more than 16,300 people with diverse backgrounds within Waterloo Region and Wellington County.

"I started to harm myself and even attempted to take my life. I hit rock bottom. My Lutherwood counsellor was different – she listened. Once I realized that she truly cared, I began to trust and open up to her.”