Greetings to all you loyal and dedicated supporters of the men of the Westside Shelter from the new president of the Lazarus Caucus.
I have been involved with the Lazarus Caucus for many years first as a meal provider and clothing closet coordinator, then as a board member and auction chair, but this is the first time I have held an office. I am a member at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, a wife, a daughter blessed to still have both her parents, a 30-year career woman and a Catonsville resident.
I have two areas I want to emphasize this year – open and frequent communications and the enhancement of our relationships with other organizations, especially our partner congregations.
Our meetings will be monthly, usually held on the first Monday of the month at 7PM at the Patapsco Overlook clubhouse, 10 Clay Lodge Lane, Catonsville (off Frederick and Thistle Road behind Dmitri’s). All supporters are invited to attend any of these open meetings. If you are just curious or want to get more involved, please stop by – we are looking for fresh ideas and faces. The newsletter will be coming out in the middle of the month after the meetings in case you can’t be there in person.
Our website, http://www.lazaruscaucus.org, is full of the activities of our partner organizations. Please read up on them, ask questions, and consider doing something similar at your church, your workplace or your community organization. Please let us know what your groups are doing to support the men of the shelter and we will make sure that your efforts are publicized and recognized.
I’m looking forward to the year ahead and I hope the Lazarus Caucus and the men of the Westside Shelter can count on your continued support.
Lazarus Caucus, Inc. is a faith-based, non-profit organization formed in 2004. Its sole purpose is to assist the homeless men at the Westside Shelter in Catonsville to be employed, self-sufficient and productive, permanent residents of Baltimore County. The Caucus’s credo is to extend “a hand up versus a hand out” to this County’s homeless men.
Lazarus provides multiple services to foster independent living and the transitioning of shelter guests to permanent County housing. These include shelter, rent, and transportation, food, clothing, health care and job placement. Such assistance starts at Lazarus’s on-site Resource Center. At the Center counselors welcome residents, receive their service requests and guide them in addressing their needs and move to self-sufficiency.
Lazarus outreach in this category includes assistance with co-pays in the key healthcare areas of non-narcotic prescription drugs and eyeglasses. Such prescription aid fosters the health of the individual and protects an overcrowded facility from outbreaks of multiple illnesses.
Except for clothing and food, no Lazarus initiative has a greater positive and immediate impact on the life of residents than the tokens and weekly and monthly disability bus passes program. The dispensing of these tokens and passes permit the keeping of medical and treatment appointments, facilitate the pursuit of jobs and initially get the employed to the work place. They afford an avenue to healthcare, employment and eventually permanent outside residency.
In addition to the services cited above, Lazarus has a comprehensive clothing program insuring that no one suffers frostbite or worst. It also offers food support on a regular basis. All Caucus programs are done in a close, shared partnership with the Community Action Network, managers of the site, its residents and the physical plant. Prologue, Keypoint, the Veterans Administration and Social Services are referral allies of Lazarus.
Jim Troy, Vice President