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.
Jeff Hassel , Executive Director

A FEW MONTHS AGO, the nation was in lockdown; now people are trying to find a balance between opening up and keeping the spread of COVID under control. At Lazarus House, we are struggling with the same considerations.

We are being cautious about reopening programs and services. We have protocols in place to take temperatures and affirm visitors and staff are in good health before entering our buildings. The Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry have hired new employees to keep up with increasing demand and, because of the risk factors involved with providing meals and groceries to 2000+ people each week and wanting to make sure our frontline staff do not get sick, we do not (yet) have volunteers helping in either area.

The conversion of our shelter to serve families is about half completed, and we are looking to bring our staff back and move to a gradual reopening in September as protocols and safety allow. The continuing operation of the Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen, and the renovation of the shelter continue to be our top priorities. These essential services are what our Guests need most and what Lazarus House can best provide.


This week, Governor approved the next phase of reopening in Massachusetts, and we are beginning to think through all the changes we will need to implement to open our thrift stores, and later, our sewing and culinary training programs. We must create new COVID protocols to keep people safe in each facility and retrain our staff to teach and enforce these protocols with our Guests and as well with our donors and volunteers who are essential to our programs. This thoughtful and steady process will serve our Guests well and offer reasonable protection for our staff who come to work every day to provide the life-giving services that our Shelter, Soup Kitchen, and Food Pantry provide for the people of Lawrence.

We are navigating these COVID realities. We are united in taking a moderate, thoughtful approach to reopening because all of us know someone who has gotten gravely ill from COVID, and all of us know someone who has lost a loved one to the virus. We offer each other the patience and grace to be care-filled in this process.

I would be remiss if I did not thank the volunteers who have come to our aid as we have renovated the shelter and made necessary repairs to the Good Shepherd Center; your “dedication in action” is a joy to see. Thank you.

For all of you who have blessed Lazarus House with financial support, thank you. The way you all have stepped up in this time of crisis gives us hope, encouragement and the ability to serve the materially poor of greater Lawrence with all our heart, soul, and strength.

Thank you for being a vital part of this ministry.
Reverend Jeff Hassel, Executive Director
"Linking Arms … From a Distance"

  • The City Shelter is now closed and our Lazarus House Shelter leaders have been successful in their efforts to provide housing for our Guests until such time as our Shelter can reopen.
  • The Soup Kitchen continues using a “meals to go” breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday.
  • The Food Pantry continues Wednesday food distributions (9:30 AM – 2:00 PM) using a “groceries to go” format.
  • We have closed our Thrift Stores until further notice.
  • We have closed our Sparkle Cleaning business until further notice.
  • We have closed our Sewing and Culinary Arts classes are until further notice.
  • We have suspended our crucial Volunteer Program until further notice.
  • Lazarus House leaders continue to make necessary changes, as recommended by the State of Massachusetts and the CDC, to the way we serve, sanitize facilities, use personal protective gear, and operate. We are keeping safety for all at the forefront of our minds and actions.

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

Contact Marcy to find out how you can help our Guests during this "season of safety & protocols" on-site
or from home (

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