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Lexington homeless shelters in need of cold weather essentials as temperatures drop

Lexington's Catholic Action Center will be closing its Safe Harbor Lighthouse homeless shelter Saturday.
Catholic Action Center
Lexington's Catholic Action Center will be closing its Safe Harbor Lighthouse homeless shelter Saturday.

Homeless shelters in Lexington say they’re running out of cold weather resources as temperature continues to drop.

The Catholic Action Center says they’re in need of essentials like sleeping bags, hand warmers, hats, gloves and heavy socks as shelters throughout the city reach capacity.

“We've been amazed at how many items we've gone through,” Catholic Action Center director Ginny Ramsey said. “When we first started in mid-October, gathering and asking for sleeping bags, we've gone through hundreds of them. And those are sometimes the only thing that saves the people from being frostbitten.”

Ramsey says she’s seen an uptick in both evictions and Lexington’s unhoused population this year.

“This is our 24th winter, and we have not seen the need that we're seeing now,” Ramsey said. “We know COVID, we know the economy, we know high rents, we know all these things play a part in people being able to be in stabilized housing.”

In the meantime, Ramsey says she’s seen help from across the central Kentucky community in response.

“We're seeing our surrounding counties stepping up, and recognizing their own situation with those experiencing homelessness, and different faith groups and community groups are reaching out to help,” Ramsey said. “Which is wonderful, because in our 24 years, we've worked with a lot of different groups that wanted to do things in their communities, but didn't know if they really had people who were struggling with homelessness.”

A list of emergency shelters in Lexington is available on the city’s website. The Hope Village across from Lexington’s Hope Center is also open for those in need of shelter.

Donations to the Catholic Action Center can be made from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 1055 Industry Road in Lexington. Ways to help are available on the center’s website.

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Shepherd joined WEKU in June 2023 as a staff reporter. He most recently worked for West Virginia Public Broadcasting as General Assignment Reporter. In that role, he collected interviews and captured photos in the northern region of West Virginia. Shepherd holds a master’s degree in Digital Marketing Communication and a bachelor’s in music from West Virginia University.
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