• LCS feeds at least 76 guests 2 meals per day (breakfast and dinner)
  • LCS shelters overflow people at nearby churches when the temperature is below 32°F at night
  • LCS averages 5-7 families each night; families have priority for sleeping spaces
  • LCS guests sleep on mats on the floor, often with less than 6" separating each mat
  • LCS guests are not allowed to leave the property after 10 pm and are supervised by night monitor staff who are awake all night long

LOCAL news: From the Lawrence Journal-World

NATIONAL news, from the blog on homelesseness

lawrence community shelter, lawrence kansas emergency homeless shelter

Success Stories

Sally Bartlett, the Supervising Case Manager at LCS, prepares a monthly success story.

Success comes in many different forms at LCS. Sally writes about some big steps to success (getting a job, getting housing, etc) as well as some smaller, but just as important, steps to success.

Each of these successes on the path to a positive future are the result of committment and dedication by the LCS staff and the LCS guest and are just a glimpse at the short and long term goals set by the guest with the help of their case manager.    Read the LCS Success Stories >>

Life at LCS

We often hear things mentioned that need to be clarified by professionals in the field of homelessness.

LCS has worked closely with shelters throughout the US and have learned much about the ways to help people out of homelessness. Mainly we have learned that each individual has to have their own plan with a social worker, mental health counselor or person that works in addiction rehab. This would be similar to a person with a physical problem who works with heart specialist, cancer specialists etc. There needs to be a team that moves people out of homelessness and into a positive future.

The Lawrence Community Shelter is often referred to as a wet shelter. This is important to clarify for the community. The Lawrence Community Shelter is not a wet shelter. We often hear this term used to describe LCS. LCS gives breathalyzers as needed as a diagnostic tool and they don’t allow drinking in the shelter. You can google the definition of a wet shelter and a dry shelter and see the research studies on both. LCS takes people in so that they can be helped. If they are left out of a shelter, that is where we get the chronically homeless population. If we bring them into shelter, the people can be set on a road to recovery.LCS has rules and consequences. What if we didn’t allow people who had mental illness in our shelters? We have to give everyone a chance to start a program and get help. LCS has well thought out rules and consequences.

LCS has a unique group of counselors who conduct AA meetings and take people daily to rehab programs. The social workers have individual plans for each person to move them forward.

LCS works with dual diagnosis persons—mental and addictive behavior—and works closely with Bert Nash to get help for them. When they are ready for the next step the families move on to groups like Family Promise and the individuals move into transitional housing and into jobs.

LCS is unique in that it has their own job program and job counselor on staff.

It is very important to know how hard the director, staff and board work to help the people served in the most professional and up-to date methods.

Many interns and professors from several colleges, KU, Washburn, and Baker help with the shelter.

Visit the shelter and you will see how needed a large building is to give all the services. You will also see the care and professionalism of everyone there. It is truly a blessing to be part of the support group that works with the shelter. Everyone should visit the shelter and volunteer in some capacity, before they say that the shelter is not run in a professional manner. Some of the most amazing people that you would want to know comprise the guests and staff group and directors of the LCS Shelter.

Progams and Services

Every day programs and services at LCS include: Night Shelter with evening meal, breakfast, AA meetings, and access to basic living services. Case managers are available Monday through Friday.

Ongoing programs directly through the Lawrence Community Shelter include:

Back-To-Work, a one-on-one works program, headed by Arnell Walker

Family Program, designed to empower and improve families, headed by Elizabeth Stephens

The Joseph Project, an entreprenurial job program

Ongoing programs also available at LCS include collaboration with outside agencies such as:

  • Bert Nash, Douglas County’s behavioral healthcare provider of choice, offering cutting-edge, research-based services that address a variety of mental health needs and concerns; their mission is to advance the mental health of the Douglas County community through comprehensive behavioral health services responsive to evolving needs and changing environments
  • RADAC, through the Heartland Regional Alcohol and Drug Assessment Center
  • LDCHA, the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority
  • Kansas Legal Services, assisting with legal issues
  • DCCCA, providing outreach to guests with drug and/or alcohol addictions. DCCCA also offers services dealing with domestic violence, healthy relationships, parenting, and relapse prevention
  • Independence, Inc., providing a variety of services to individuals with disabilities, which include resource management, computer courses, and benefits advocacy; they also offer assistance matching guests with needed resources
  • Health Care Access, a community effort to help facilitate access to health services for Douglas County residents with limited financial means who are not covered by private or governmental insurance programs with more than 85 health professionals giving their time to provide primary care in a clinic setting; referrals to tests and specialists; and assistance in obtaining prescription medication
  • L.I.N.K., a pleasant, safe place for the hungry or lonely to share a free, nutritious meal and the companionship of one another. Serving meals: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
    Physical Address: 221 West 10th Street Lawrence, KS 66044-3921
    Mailing Address: P.O. Box 442472 Lawrence, KS 66044-8938
  • Lawrence Workforce Center, this Kansas One-Stop system improves the state's workforce and strengthen it's economy by developing a system of information and One-Stop Centers that offer labor market data, provide access to career training and job placement services, and serve as the connection between employers and qualified workers
  • The Willow Domestic Violence Center (formerly Women's Transitional Care Services) a refuge for battered women and their children since 1978; services include: safe shelter, 24-hour crisis line, peer counseling and support, a weekly support group, and referrals
  • Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the community by helping consumers achieve housing and financial goals