COVID-19 Response

Throughout the coronavirus outbreak, the Lawrence Community Shelter will remain committed to serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Douglas County to the best of our abilities. In partnership with local providers and public health officials, we are closely monitoring the outbreak in our community and taking necessary steps to protect the health of our guests, staff, and volunteers.

As the community gradually reopens, our first priority is to remain a safe haven and an important emergency resource while protecting the health of our guests, staff, and volunteers. To this end, throughout the crisis we have relied upon the CDC “Guidance for Homeless Shelters” in order to establish clear procedures for our staff and guests to follow. Please see our action plan below.

We will continue to rely upon community first responders and health providers to meet all the medical needs of our guests as they arise, in coordination with community-wide efforts and planning. LCS remains a crucial part of the emergency response system that supports health in our community: we make sure people have somewhere safe to go.

We rely heavily on the community for support. Many people have reached out to us asking how they can help. See below! We need our community of supporters now more than ever. Please keep in contact with us online.

We have:

  • Identified a list of key contacts at local and state health departments.
  • Prepared ourselves to report cases of respiratory illness that might be COVID-19 to the local health department and to transport persons with severe illness to medical facilities.
  • Planned for any guest who tests positive or receives a self-quarantine order to be isolated at an alternate housing site.
  • Initiated an appeal to supplement our Direct Assistance Fund, which will allow us to to pay for testing, medical co-pays, and alternate shelter or permanent housing for guests who need to self-isolate.
  • Encouraged all staff and volunteers to follow all public health directives and to stay home if they experience exposure or symptoms.
  • Developed emergency staffing models in case of increased absenteeism caused by employee illness or by illness in employees’ family members.
  • Limited visitors to the shelter.
  • Provided the shelter with COVID-19 prevention supplies: soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol, tissues, trash baskets. We are still in need of more of all of these items, so please donate if you can!
  • Instituted a schedule for regular wiping down of surfaces and shared items.
  • Promoted the practice of everyday preventive actions by holding regular house meetings and posting health messages at entrances and in strategic places providing instruction on social distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette.

We will get through this, together.

Please consider donating to our Direct Assistance Fund!

We are prepared, but we very much need your support. Please consult the list of needs below and consider donating.

We encourage all supporters who would like to donate items that could help us with challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak to visit our Amazon Wish List. (Many items may be unavailable.)

Due to the COVID-19 situation, we are accepting donations only by appointment or direct shipping to our address. We are not accepting walk-in donations. Donations can be shipped to 3655 East 25th Street, Lawrence, KS 66046. To make an appointment, please call or text Meghan Bahn at 785-274-9724.

  • Clorox wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lysol spray
  • Bleach
  • Toilet paper
  • Tissues
  • Disposable gloves (Nitrile, large and extra large)
  • Masks
  • Forehead thermometers
  • Thermometers with probe covers
  • Disposable plates / bowls / cups / utensils
  • First Aid supplies
  • Liquid hand soap
  • Plastic soap holders for bar soap
  • Acetaminophen
  • Cough suppressant and expectorant
  • Decongestant
  • Chapstick / lip balm
  • Saline nasal spray
  • Adult diapers (medium to XXL)
  • Shop-vacs
  • Push brooms
  • Personal protective equipment

We have created a Direct Assistance Fund, which will be used to pay for alternate housing sites for any guests exhibiting respiratory symptoms.

But the real solution for homelessness remains a home, and that has never been more important than now.

Our Direct Assistance Fund also helps with security deposits and gets our guests housed.

Should anyone contract the coronavirus, it is best for them and for all of us that they be in their own home, not the shelter.

We also use these funds to cover co-pays for medical office visits for all LCS guests.

The shelter’s safety is the community’s safety! Please help, if you are able.