How to Get Help

Project Shepherd food drive.

Project Shepherd began in 1972 as a small program to help Lakewood residents at Christmas who needed a helping hand. For more than 40 years, thousands of residents have been served with emergency food, utility bill assistance, holiday food and gifts and other specialty requests.

Surveys show that more than one-third of Lakewood households have dealt with unemployment during a tough economy. Some recipients were former donors to the program, now in need of the very assistance they once helped to give.

How to apply for assistance 

Project Shepherd applicants must be Lakewood residents (determined by current Lakewood mailing address and utility billing) and meet income restrictions. Families are served by either Burns Community Center or Palms Park, depending on the zip code of their residence.

Families in need may apply any time of year for help with the emergency food pantry or utility bill payment assistance.

To apply for assistance, please call the community center that serves the zip code of your residence:

Residence zip code Location Call
90712 or
Burns Community Center 562-925-7512
90715 Palms Park 562-865-6414


Information on registering for seasonal programs (December giving/Teddy Bear Tree and the backpack program) is available at