LUK was founded in 1970 as the Let Us Know Crisis Center, Inc., by a pair of Vista volunteers Punky Pletan-Cross from North Dakota and Ric Whalen from Connecticut. As the forerunner to AmeriCorps, VISTA volunteers gave a year of service to meet community needs. Punky and Ric were assigned to Fitchburg in the north central area of Massachusetts where they founded 24/7 hotline “staffed” entirely by volunteers. Although LUK no longer operates a hotline, a commitment to community is still core to our services and organizational values. Since our founding in 1970 we have expanded our services to include home-based youth and family counseling services, victim services, outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment, trauma recovery treatment and training, foster care, transition to independent living for older youth, young parent support, adventure-based counseling, respite services, group homes for youth, coordination of child welfare services, mentoring, street outreach, peer leadership, and positive youth development services utilizing evidence-based models.
Today LUK serves over 3,700 youth, adults and families a year with another 12,000 impacted by LUK’s prevention, education and training programs. The agency has 250 employees, over 80 foster homes, 4 residential program settings and 6 office locations in Fitchburg, Worcester, Webster, Lowell and Boylston.
LUK is a leader in providing high quality, responsive services to individuals and families. The agency utilizes evidence-based treatment and prevention service models with a proven track record of success.