Welcome to Linking Hands: a voice for poverty reduction in Dundas County.

What is Linking Hands?

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.

Who is Linking Hands?

While the House of Lazarus is the “parent” organization behind Linking Hands, the initiative is comprised of volunteers from several sectors of the county’s surrounding communities, including those facing poverty themselves and those working in organizations or on projects connected to issues of poverty. Linking Hands members include anyone who wants to participate and become part of the solution.

What does Linking Hands do?

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.

How does Linking Hands work?

Linking Hands is led by a Steering Committee, a group comprised of agencies, organizations, and residents who are passionate about making a positive difference in their communities.

While the steering committee sets the course for Linking Hands, it is the task of the six Working Groups to take action, brainstorming goals for potential projects, events, and solutions and then making them happen. These groups include:

  • Community Connectivity
  • Financial Health
  • Healthy Living
  • Housing
  • Seniors
  • Transportation

Our History

A project of the House of Lazarus, Linking Hands’ history dates back, roughly, to 2011, but there is an argument for the claim that it is almost as old as the Mountain-based ecumenical mission itself, and a history of Linking Hands must refer to the history of its founder.

The House of Lazarus

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.

Community Forum

In 2011, the House of Lazarus organized a community forum, which took place that fall in Williamsburg. The event made it possible for those affected by poverty, those working in fields dealing with poverty, and those with the power to positively impact rural poverty to come together for a day, where they could discuss and identify the challenges specific to Dundas County and, more importantly, brainstorm ideas for potential solutions. Those present during the full-day event included municipal politicians, religious groups, social service agencies, service clubs, healthcare providers, business owners, and the general public.

The forum’s ultimate goal: gathering the voices of all those present, recruiting passionate and committed volunteers for the cause, and formulating a practical plan to collectively take action.

And so, Linking Hands – a community-based, community-led initiative to bring Dundas County’s communities and its people together with the information, services, resources, and networking connections they need to live a better, more quality-filled life – was born!

Our Partners

Linking Hands has numerous partners of varying degrees, from those people and agencies who have committed to plotting the initiative’s direction by joining the steering committee to those who have volunteered for one of the six working groups, or to lend a hand at one of our many one-time events. We have partners who offer their facilities (and, in some cases, food) free of charge for such events as Lunch and Learn, Tea and Talk, meetings, forums, and more.

It is the generosity and support of these organizations, agencies, and individuals throughout Dundas County that allows the Linking Hands initiative to grow, always striving to meet its mandate of reducing poverty in Dundas County.

Dundas County Good Neighbour Award

The annual Good Neighbour Award was introduced by Linking Hands’ Community Connectivity Working Group to acknowledge all those individuals in Dundas County who go out of their way to do a little extra for someone else. The program started with one adult winner in each of the two municipalities: North Dundas and South Dundas. In 2015, a youth component was added.

NOMINATION FOR THE 2019 GOOD NEIGHBOUR AWARD ARE NOW OPEN!

To see past winners, click here.

Contact Sandy for more information

Email: scasselman@houseoflazarus.com
Phone: 613-989-3830

Green Food Box

HOL, through its Linking Hands initiative, provides two opportunities every month for ordering the Green Food Box. The program is open to everyone. There are no limits to how many bags a person orders and they may use both the North and South Dundas services.

For more on this program, go to PROGRAMS.

Lunch & Learn

Lunch & Learn is a monthly program that falls under the Linking Hands Community Connectivity Working Group.

It is a FREE two-hour event, which includes an educational and/or entertainment portion followed by lunch. While the program is free to attend, registration is a must, as organizers need to prepare the proper amount for lunch. Free transportation to and from the event is available for seniors in Dundas County.

Contact Nancy for more information

Email: nchristie@houseoflazarus.com
Phone: 613-989-3830

Model of Communication

The Linking Hands Model of Communication was developed in 2015 to show other groups how to create a similar initiative to Linking Hands Dundas County. Presentations about the model – how Linking Hands was formed and how it has since evolved – can be arranged through the Linking Hands Coordinator.

Contact Sandy for more information

Email: scasselman@houseoflazarus.com
Phone: 613-989-3830

Linking Hands Newsletter – Community Connection

The Linking Hands Newsletter was started in 2015. It is completed quarterly.

Summer 2019

Spring 2019

Winter 2018-2019

Fall 2018

Summer 2018

Spring 2018

Winter 2017-2018

Fall 2017

Summer 2017

Spring 2017

Winter 2016-2017

Fall 2016

Summer 2016

Spring 2016

Winter 2015-2016

Fall 2015

Contact Sandy for more information

Email: scasselman@houseoflazarus.com
Phone: 613-989-3830

Places for People

Places for People Dundas County was created through the Linking Hands Housing Working Group. The idea is to create affordable housing in Dundas County, coupling that with a mentorship program for tenants. The project is modeled after the Haliburton Places for People initiative.

For more on this project, go to PLACES FOR PEOPLE.

Resource Guide

The Linking Hands Resource Guide was developed in an attempt to insure residents have access to information about available services and resources in the area.

For more on this program, go to PROGRAMS.

Welcome Dundas

This project focuses on ensuring newcomers to Dundas County feel welcome, providing information to help families and individuals navigate more easily in their new location.

Contact Sandy for more information

Email: scasselman@houseoflazarus.com
Phone: 613-989-3830

Our Events

Handyman Heroes Shed Challenge Online Auction

August 10 @ 9:00 am - August 30 @ 3:00 pm

Fill the Bus

August 30 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

HOL Live Summer Auction

September 13 @ 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Lunch & Learn “In the kitchen with Lindsay!”

September 16 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm