With a long history of outreach ministry since its founding in 1888, First Lutheran's most recent outreach ministry began in the 1970s, when a group of church members began baking bread on Friday mornings and serving it on the patio. Dubbed "Bread Day," it quickly became a tradition. The volunteers serving the bread soon noticed that many of their guests were the homeless and working poor.
Seeing as these guests needed more than just food, In 1995, the church's outreach efforts were organized under one tax-exempt, not-for-profit charity, the Third Avenue Charitable Organization, Inc. (TACO).
Since then, TACO has collaborated with various clinic partners to provide a variety of services: medical clinics (with the UCSD School of Medicine Student-Run Free Clinic Project), dental clinics (with the UCSD Pre-Dental Society), acupuncture clinics (with the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine), legal clinics (with the California Western School of Law Community Law Project), as well as social services and case management. In 2004, we began an innovative program, Going Home End-Of-Life Services, providing end-of-life care to people living on the streets.