Homelessness centre set to reopen

Lazarus House Press Release Photo

(Left to right) Tony McManus (Geelong Community Foundation Development Manager), Lisa Carberry (Lazarus Centre), Gail Rodgers (Geelong Community Foundation CEO), Don Winterton (Lazarus Centre Community Operations Manager), Wendy (Volunteer), Michael Nolan (Founder/Board Member)

A local homelessness centre that has been shut for the last 6 weeks, is set to reopen its doors with the help of the Geelong Community Foundation.

The Lazarus Centre has just received a grant of $40,000 which will help them employ an Operations Manager to get things moving urgently.

Gail Rodgers, the Geelong Community Foundation’s CEO said today “In such difficult times, this service is needed now more than ever. After losing access to external support, we stepped in to help their reopening.”

Gareth Kent, Lazarus Board Member said “It has been a lifesaver! We can now try and boost our goal of having more volunteers sharing a bigger load. This allows Lazarus to meet the demands of our ever growing client base, in a time when they need us the most.”

Geelong homeless people have been mostly forgotten in the Pandemic, with services such as Lazarus and Samaritan House amongst many others that have had to close under the strict COVID-19 social distancing laws. Homeless people rely on Lazarus for lunch meals, showers, fresh clothing and underwear and for referral to social, mental and medical services. During the closure Homeless people have had no access to showers and find it more difficult to find cooked meals. Thanks to the Foundation, Lazarus will rush to attend to these needs reopening in the next few weeks.

Gail Rodgers added “Our grant-making focus has shifted to emergency mode, to ensure funding is directed to areas most impacted by COVID-19, including food security, mental health and isolation.”

The Geelong Community Foundation has a corpus of over $25 million. Income derived from this has funded over $8.7 million in community grants since 2001.

To support either organisation, go to Geelong Community Foundation and Lazarus House

Lisa’s story –  video