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Lazarus Project helps people needing transitional housing

By: Penne Usher, Press Tribune Correspondent
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Sometimes people need a hand up, not a hand out.

That’s where the Lazarus Project hopes to make a difference.

“This is the only nonprofit in Placer County that offers transitional housing at no or extremely low costs to homeless men and women in the county,” said David Loya, executive director of the Lazarus Project.

 “The city of Roseville did a study and determined that there was a great need for transitional housing,” Loya said. “It was then we decided to move forward with the project.”

Lazarus currently has four transitional homes in the Roseville area.

With the help of Fusion Development and a grant, an additional bedroom and bathroom are being added to one of the homes located on Hickory Street.

Of the $32,000 required to renovate the home, all but $8,000 came from the grant. The additional space means, at this home, no one will have to share a room, which, according to Loya, is beneficial to the client’s well-being

The mission of the nonprofit is to meet the needs of the impoverished in Placer County by providing housing and comprehensive support services.

Participants of the project are provided with the information and support necessary to revamp their lives and return to the community to live independently.

“The quicker you can get a man, woman or family into their own apartment, the greater the return and the success rate will be,” Loya said.

Clark Fratis’s son, Mark, is one of the success stories. Clark Fratis wrote a testimonial on the Lazarus website outlining his son’s struggle.

“He lost a good job, couldn’t pay the rent and was suffering with severe bouts of drugs and depression. I didn’t know where to turn to for help,” Clark Fratis wrote. “I contacted The Lazarus Project and they accepted Mark into their program.”

Today, Mark Fratis is doing well and his family credits the Lazarus Program for that success.

“A big shout out to the Lazarus Project for mending a mother’s heart,” said Linda Fratis. “A mother’s heart is never mended until her children are healed.”

The project’s clients aren’t the chronically homeless, but those who have recently fallen on hard times, experienced mental health issues and are experiencing homelessness for the first time.

“These are people that need a place to cook, shower, print their resume and work on issues that contributed to their being homeless in the first place,” Loya said. “We are undoubtedly the last hope for many in our community.”

Residents of the transitional housing project can stay for up to two years.

For more information, visit www.lazarusprojectinc.org.