about how COVID-19 is affecting our people, our programs, our methods of delivering essential services like food and shelter,
and how you can help us
continue to serve our Guests.

PART ONE: Gratitude

I am grateful to the thousands of you who gave your time, talents, and treasure to Lazarus House in 2020! Despite COVID, we kept serving the most vulnerable in Lawrence, and your support made that possible. Thank you.

PART TWO: Current Realities

Since Thanksgiving, Lawrence and Lazarus House have felt the effects of the COVID surge. Every part of the Ministry has felt the sting of COVID as staff members got sick or had to quarantine due to close contact with someone who tested positive. In response, we have fortified our staffing systems, mandated weekly COVID testing, and enacted strict measures to limit transmission of the virus.

  • The week of Christmas, we initiated mandatory weekly testing for COVID across the entire ministry.
  • Food and shelter are what Lazarus House has always provided our community and remains our focus during COVID. To keep our Soup Kitchen and Shelter open "no matter what," we've created a two-team staffing system. It works like this:
  • Team A works Monday through Wednesday, and Team B works Thursday through Saturday, and the teams don't mix. This way, if someone on Team A gets sick and the rest of the team must quarantine after their exposure, Team B can step in and cover until Team A is back on its feet.
  • Because of the specifics of Soup Kitchen operations, a two-team system does not work, so we've increased the number of staff to deepen our bench to make sure we can continue to provide daily meals to our Guests.
  • We've halted our on-site Volunteer programs to limit the number of people who come into our facilities, lowering the possibility of transmission.
  • Those of us who work in administration and development stagger our time in the Good Shepherd Center and adhere to strict check-in and social distancing guidelines.

We've heard from our medical partners in Lawrence that we may have access to Moderna's COVID vaccine by the end of January. For the sake of the Nation, community, and our ministries, we pray that these vaccines will be available and will work to defeat the virus!

Lord, may it be so.

PART THREE: Looking Ahead!

We are clear that Food and Shelter are what we do best and what our community needs most. To that end, we will renovate our Soup Kitchen in 2021! Generous donors have already underwritten a substantial portion of the cost, so I gave this project a "green light for 2021!" We've spent months thinking about how our Soup Kitchen operates and how we can improve quality, efficiency and capacity through these renovations – while keeping LOVE and DIGNITY at the core of all we do!

While our on-site Volunteer Program is still on COVID hiatus, we are building and expanding that program to welcome you warmly when COVID is no longer the threat that it is today and we can see you face to face. In the meantime, please consider putting your God-given talents and interests to good use for the people of Lawrence, and connect with the Ministry in new ways by contacting our Coordinator of Volunteers, Marcy Furse (

I sign off with my favorite blessing from Numbers 6: 24-26:

The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD, with delight, touch your life and give you peace."
Reverend Jeff Hassel, Executive Director


PRAY for our Guests,
the Lawrence Community, and our staff

Contact Marcy for virtual volunteering

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LAZARUS HOUSE – A Beacon of Hope in the darkness of poverty and homelessness.
In this era of COVID-19, Lazarus House continues its mission to help women, men, and children living in poverty restore their dignity and self-respect. We are concentrating our efforts to meet the basic needs of food and shelter for the people of Lawrence.

Thank YOU for your Profound Partnership