The House of Lazarus is a community outreach mission that offers food, clothing, and household goods to those in need, serving not only HOL food bank clients, but those of neighbouring food banks as well. Our Giving Garden, which was expanded in 2016, provides fresh vegetables and herbs for our food bank clients, as well as for some of our programs and events.

HOL aspires to fill in the gaps in services and resources for residents in the surrounding communities when and wherever possible. Currently we host a free weekly community meal open to everyone on Thursday evenings from 4 to 7 pm. We have a Starting Over program that assists individuals and families who need help setting up a house after a traumatic event, such as a fire. In 2016, roughly 1,037 people were served through our outreach programs.

The Linking Hands program focuses entirely on addressing poverty issues in Dundas County.

Through events, programs, and information services, HOL is here to help its community in any way it can. HOL employs several local residents and offers an abundance of volunteer opportunities for all ages in its shops, as well as through its many events and programs. HOL’s Thrift Shop and Household Goods Shop offer opportunities for everyone to find treasures at reasonable prices. The money generated goes back into the House of Lazarus, ensuring that our work continues.

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.