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Largest Central Kentucky Shelter Announces New Executive Director

Corinne Boyer
Rufus Friday is the new executive director of the Hope Center.


On Wednesday Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton spoke at the Hope Center in Lexington. The nonprofit helps people with substance use disorder and anyone experiencing homelessness.

The Hope Center is open 365 days a year and has never closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s the largest shelter in central Kentucky. The nonprofit also assists with transitional and permanent housing.    

Credit Corinne Boyer / WEKU
The Hope Center is the largest shelter in central Kentucky.

Gov. Beshear said another big job announcement will be made Thursday, but everyone needs a chance to take part in the state’s growing economy.  

“That includes people that need a little help. That includes second chance opportunities, because we're never going to fill the jobs that we need to without embracing folks that are on that second or even third, or even fourth chance and to those in recovery working on recovery,” Beshear said. “I want you to know, we're proud of you.”

Rufus Friday, a former president and publisher of the Lexington Herald-Leader, is the new executive director and first began working with the organization eight years ago.  

“We can help more of our community members to overcome substance abuse, we can help more people stabilize their mental illness, we can keep more people from freezing on the streets, all alone here. We can offer them a caring community,” Friday said.

The Hope Center serves and gives out about 38,000 meals per month and is open every day throughout the year. 

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said the Hope Center's shelter and services have been critical throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.



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