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.

LCS can accommodate a maximum of 50 adults. Everyone is welcome to seek shelter at LCS. Due to limited space, families with children must have a referral from a partner agency in order to stay at LCS. All guests are asked to abide by a code of conduct out of respect for others staying in the shelter, but there are no requirements in regards to income or sobriety. Click here to view our nondiscrimination policy.

Emergency shelter is a 3-day respite or 90-day program. If someone is not seeking housing services, then staff will provide resources for alternate shelter options during their 3-day respite stay. Those who stay at the shelter for 90 days or less will have an assigned Inreach Manager and Housing Navigator to connect them to supportive services and transition into housing. In limited circumstances, their stay may be extended (e.g. for health reasons, delayed leasing start date).

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.

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!