Lifeline Community Services was born and is rooted in the idea that everyone should have the supports, education, treatment, and care needed to thrive. This was true 50 years ago when we were founded by local community volunteers passionate about making a difference in the lives of youth. This is true today as we continue to serve the most vulnerable child, adults, and families in San Diego with cutting-edge, trauma-informed, community-based programming.

Lifeline Community Services was incorporated in 1973, having been formed in the late 1960s by a volunteer citizens group concerned about drug abuse among local youth. Lifeline has since expanded to offer programs focusing on youth development, behavioral health, child abuse prevention, housing & self-sufficiency, and anti-human trafficking.
Lifeline’s early days were led by a grassroots group of community members focused on drug abuse prevention and intervention among the area's youth, as well as connecting families to local resources. This group also recognized the complex, systemic factors in this work.

To make a permanent and positive change, Lifeline has expanded programs to address the complex underlying problems affecting our community. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion has been in place since our inception and strengthened in recent years.

Over the years, Lifeline’s programs have evolved and expanded to meet the needs of the community. Lifeline continues to evaluate each program’s fit within our mission and philosophy - to ensure the greatest opportunity for success.
Lifeline’s mission of building self-reliance has held strong since our founding and continues today. This year, as Lifeline celebrates 50 years of service to the community, we are looking back, but also looking forward.

Click on the timeline below to view milestone moments throughout our organization's history!

Lifeline's Timeline