About Us

From humble beginnings.

Originally named Youth Simply Giving Back, it was founded by three youth participants with Lutheran Social Services. As part of the housing programs for transitional aged youth, the bookstore was a triumphant initiative aimed at giving back to the community and bettering their own lives. 

Now called A Novel Idea, we are still a youth run social enterprise that amplifies the voices and experiences of  the youth participants. Our goal is to enrich our team member’s lives by creating an environment to develop a career path, work ethic and leadership skills. These key elements along with building community, propels them toward success. All profits from our book sales are cycled back into our programs that support housing security and job readiness for our team members entering the workforce and creating a sustainable and independent life. 

From starting with a small apartment unit, to establishing a professional office space, A Novel Idea has and will continue to grow and expand in a way that positively impacts the local community. We welcome you to be part of this journey. Keep in touch by following us on Instagram at @ANovelIdea.LSS. You can support us by making a purchase or monetary donation, or just refer a friend! We sincerely appreciate your support. 

A Novel Idea is managed by LSS staff member Jessica Harding, as part of the youth vocational department overseen by Erika Rodriguez and accompanied by Melissa De La Cruz. As a department, the vocational team works together to plant the seeds of success. 

Erika Rodriguez; Vocational Program Coordinator

Melissa De La Cruz; Job Developer

Jessica Harding; Social Enterprise Manager

For more information on LSS please visit https://www.lssnorcal.org/

A Novel Idea participant  participant Quentin is balancing books on his head while selling books at the market.  4 participants standing in a book vault holding packages with outgoing books.