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.

Hope in the Pandemic

With the arrival of Easter and springtime, our hearts turn to thoughts of new life! Last week, twenty-five of our staff (all vaccinated, praise God!) gathered for a breakfast of delicious Dominican foods prepared by our Soup Kitchen. It was the first time in a YEAR that we had been able to come together like that, and it felt good! Like you, we desire to gather, worship together, serve side-by-side, and move toward a new normal. 

Perseverance in the Pandemic

Our staff prevailed through the darkest days of the pandemic spike and the coldest days of winter. There were times when ten percent of our employees were either sick with COVID or were in quarantine because of exposure. Nonetheless, the Soup Kitchen never missed a meal. The Food Pantry opened every Wednesday. Capernaum Place remained open and our Shelter and Thrift stores closed temporarily while we devised safety protocols for both environments.

Our Social Workers offered mental health care to our Guests who struggled profoundly with the stress brought on by homeschooling, job loss, and isolation from friends and family. Our staff continue to serve, innovate, and offer the hallmark gifts of respect and dignity to each Guest who knocks on our door!

I am proud to lead among them.

Planning in the Pandemic

Our COVID protocols remain in place, and our volunteer program is not fully back in operation. However, we have been planning for a gradual reopening as the year progresses. I encourage you to contact our Manager of Volunteer Engagement, Marcy Furse, at to explore upcoming on-site and off-site volunteer opportunities that are vital to the success of our programs.

As part of our planning, we are evaluating our strengths and the community's needs. We see firsthand that COVID has exacerbated food insecurity, and to meet this need, we have increased our weekly food distribution at the Food Pantry and will renovate and enlarge our Soup Kitchen this summer to meet the growing demand! Thinking "outside the box", we launched a pilot program engaging a nutritionist who will guide us on healthier cooking and culturally relevant meal prep for the good of our Guests.

Another planning highlight is the six-month strategic planning process in which the Board of Directors and staff leaders are engaged. We are also upgrading volunteer and communications systems to make it easier for you, our incredible donors and friends, to connect and stay connected with Lazarus House.
Please join me in prayer for an end to this virus and pray that God uses the talents and love of Lazarus House to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.

Reverend Jeff Hassel, Executive Director


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

Contact Marcy for virtual volunteering opportunities (

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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 by offering life-saving services and treating each person with the
dignity and respect they deserve.

We are concentrating our efforts to meet the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing
 for the people of Lawrence.

Thank YOU for your Profound Partnership