Causes of homelessness include:

  • Low Income
  • Rise in poverty / wealth inequality
  • Shortage of affordable housing
  • Lack of affordable healthcare
  • Domestic violence
  • Mental illness
  • Addiction / substance use
  • Reduced spending on public welfare programs
  • Limited transitional housing or permanent supportive housing

Stereotypes are pervasive and hurtful, often blaming people experiencing homelessness for their own circumstances. In reality, having a full-time job does not guarantee an escape from poverty, personal tragedies occur beyond anyone’s control, and there are many barriers to overcoming homelessness without social support. Click here to read more.

All adults meeting eligibility requirements are welcome to seek shelter at LCS. All guests must abide by program guidelines and sign paperwork to certify that they are currently homeless and eligible for services. All guests are asked to abide by a code of conduct out of respect for others staying in the shelter. Click here to view our non-discrimination policy.

  • Am I required to pass a drug test? No.
  • Am I required to show an ID or proof of income? No.
  • Am I required to pass a criminal background check? No.
  • What if I was banned?
    Call 785-832-8864 to ask for an appeal or a status update.

LCS can accommodate a maximum of 125 adults overnight. LCS offers up to 100 beds in the Night by Night Program, and 25 beds in the Continuous-Stay Program.

Families with children under 18 can find alternative resources for shelter and other assistance on our Family Resource page.

Please bring a copy of your work schedule with you when you arrive at LCS or email it to info@lawrenceshelter.org. The Shelter Manager will determine an individualized check-in and check-out schedule.

Guests who use shelter programs cannot bring new pets if they are already receiving services. New guests that have not sought services previously due to having a pet must sign a pet agreement and waiver of liability. All pets must be vaccinated or scheduled to be vaccinated to stay at LCS. A kennel can be provided if you do not have one. LCS may ask that a pet be removed if their behavior or health becomes a threat to the safety or well-being of other guests, volunteers, or staff. Night by Night guests must check out with their pets at 7 AM.

All guests in the Night by Night Program must check in between 7-10 PM each night and check out by 7 AM each day. Exceptions can be made for those with overnight work schedules when a copy of the individual’s work schedule is provided. The Night by Night Program is open year-round.

There is no check in or check out time for individuals enrolled in the continuous-stay Housing Program at LCS. Individuals may stay in the Housing Program until a permanent housing placement is found, or for a maximum of 90 days.

Monarch Village is reserved for individuals with complex needs combined with high barriers to housing or who face difficulties living in a congregate setting. This may include individuals with disabilities, specialized medical needs, pregnancy, or people who commonly experience chronic homelessness. Qualifying individuals may be referred to Monarch Village by their case manager. At a minimum, a quarter of the units will be reserved for quarantine and isolation in accordance with guidelines relating to COVID-19.

Our goal at LCS is for everyone who seeks housing services to exit to a stable and/or permanent housing situation. However, there are no limitations for use of the Night by Night Program.

The Lawrence Community Shelter embraces the Housing First approach to addressing homelessness. Old-fashioned homeless shelter models focus on a treatment-first approach, prolonging barriers to housing, while a Housing First approach yields better and longer-lasting results of housing stability and improved mental health. Housing First models move people into housing directly from streets and shelters without requiring compliance or participation in treatment programs to determine “readiness” prior to accessing safe and secure housing. Housing First interventions and principles emerge from a specific body of social science research that tells us something important about recovery, wellness, and housing: that people are best positioned for behavioral health recovery and lifelong wellness when their housing is secure.

Please visit our donate page to make a financial donation. To see a list of items that are accepted, select the “DONATE GOODS” tab or visit our Amazon Wishlist. Every bit helps!


Organize a fundraiser, sign up to volunteer, or help advocate for efforts to end homelessness through public policy! YOU can make a difference in the lives of people experiencing homelessness in your community!