LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX/WKYT) – Arbor Youth Services is a Lexington nonprofit for homeless youth.
“We’re expanding because the need to keep homeless kids off the streets is growing,” said Andrew Shayde, development director with Arbor Youth Services.
Shayde said much of the increase is due to the pandemic.
“We provide shelter and care for kids that come from abuse or are abandoned. They may be between foster care placements,” Shayde said.
The nonprofit is trying to expand one of its buildings to accommodate more homeless young people ages 18 to 24.
In order to do that, Arbor Youth Services needs the community’s help. They’re asking for donations, supplies, and labor.
Assisting with the effort is Lexington Police Officer Ryan Holland. He’s renovated several homes in the community but this one is particularly special.
“I’ve brought kids to this house as a police officer. I’ve picked kids up and taken them home with me, so this one is kind of closer to my heart,” Holland said.
The goal is to add more bedrooms and fix up the bathroom. Touch up the pant, polish the floors, and fill in the cracks.
“We’re trying to make sure that we get these beds in here quickly so that we don’t have any 19-year-olds sleeping on a park bench or under a bridge,” Shayde said.
But it’ll be more than just a place to stay—it’ll be a home where young people can find hope.
“To give them the resources to get jobs and make money, a lot of those life skills that kids don’t have because they’ve come from torn homes,” Holland said.