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, 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 moving 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 permits the keeping of medical and treatment appointments, facilitates the pursuit of jobs, and initially gets the employed to the workplace. 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 ensuring 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.
Luke Browning, President