House of Lazarus is a non-profit organization that works with the community to ensure that people have the basics of life. Our food bank and many outreach programs offer food, clothing, household goods, furniture and housing supports to those in need. Our Linking Hands program is a voice for people living in poverty.

House of Lazarus strives to fill in the gaps of services and resources. We are “building community and sharing hope.”

House of Lazarus’ food bank offers several unique programs in addition to supplementing families’ food supply each month.

– Crockpot Cuisine offers a new crockpot to food bank clients as well as a recipe and ingredients to complete the recipe monthly.

-The Birthday Club provides a cake mix, icing, party supplies and a gift for our children annually. Gift cards are given to our clients to use to purchase clothing in our thrift stores several times a year.

Our outreach encompasses many programs that assist people with their many needs. Many of our outreach programs have started with grassroots ideas.

-Our Handyman Heroes program provides urgent housing and vehicle repairs through volunteer tradespeople.

-Heat for the Holidays program provides firewood at Christmas time to families who heat their homes with wood.

-HOL completes income tax forms annually. Our Neighbours Helping Neighbours program uses donations to help maintain stability in the lives of those in need.

-Operation Backpack provides students with 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 snacks to eat over the weekend. This program is offered in nine schools in our community.

House of Lazarus’ Linking Hands is an initiative created to reduce poverty in Dundas County by listening to and addressing the needs of the people throughout the county’s many communities. Linking Hands offers a voice for people living in poverty. Linking Hands has several functions: it educates the public on poverty – its definition, the many forms it can take, the unique way it makes itself known in rural communities, and more; it provides opportunities for people and communities to work, play, and ‘be’ together, encouraging connection and neighbourliness; it creates activities, programs, events, and projects to help resolve issues of poverty in the county; and it strives to provide a comprehensive summary of the information (available services, programs, events, etc.) the community wants and needs.

House of Lazarus depends on revenue from its social enterprise thrift store business, donations, grants and fundraising to operate its food bank, outreach, and Linking Hands programs. HOL employs 16 full-time people and has over 50 volunteers working together to ensure that there are resources and programs for those in need in our community.

~Together we make a difference.

The House of Lazarus got its start in 1986 when a local minister with a desire to help those living in poverty began feeding the poor, using the trunk of his car as his base of operations. Eventually, the charitable venture moved to the reverend’s garage in Dundela and then to the local church before taking up space in an actual office-like setting in nearby South Mountain, thanks to the generosity of a local businessman.

In 1999, the mission received a large donation, allowing the House of Lazarus’ board of directors’ to purchase a large parcel of land in Mountain – the charity’s current home. At this time, the House of Lazarus became a registered charity, and board members saw the move to its new location as an opportunity not only to grow to fit the needs of the surrounding population, but to also one-day become a hub – a one-stop spot where people find the services, resources, and information they need.

To do this, the mission made various connections and built and fostered many relationships throughout Dundas County and the surrounding area. The House of Lazarus has been and continues to be committed to raising its voice and sharing its passion, offering comprehensive and ongoing support to those in need, AND going above and beyond by becoming an advocate in the fight to reduce and eventually eliminate poverty altogether.

The “action seed” that eventually gave birth to what is now Linking Hands was planted in 2010, during the House of Lazarus’ participation in the Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition’s social audit. The mission’s representative to a stand, voicing concern for the lack of attention given to the rural communities’ experiences with poverty, and shining a light on the fact that poverty solutions, like poverty experiences, are not and cannot be “one size fits all,” as those living in rural areas have unique challenges not shared by their city counterparts.

The House of Lazarus emphasized the fact that rural poverty issues are so vast and complex they cannot be solved by one organization. In fact, the mission has long since recognized the need for collaboration on a community-wide scale.

Lazarus is an abbreviation for Eleazar, whom god helps

The House of Lazarus was named after Lazarus the beggar from the Bible’s Book of Luke chapter 16, verses 19-31.

When he first started The House of Lazarus, Rev. Allan Tysick was unsure of what to name the mission. Frustrated, he grabbed his Bible for guidance and it fell open to this passage, summarized briefly below:

Lazarus was very poor, probably homeless and definitely a beggar. He often stated at the gate of a rich man in hopes of getting scraps from his table. Both men died and Lazarus was taken to “Abraham’s side,” a place of comfort and rest.