Lexington’s Hope Center gets creative to safely bring homeless out of the cold during pandemic

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – People working at many homeless shelters say they have trouble finding enough space to shelter everyone in any given year.

During an era of social distancing, finding this space could be even harder.

Experts tell us to stay home during the pandemic, but what about those of us who don’t have a home?

“If you’re inside and warm there are people who are struggling to be inside and warm and struggling to be fed,” says Janice James interim executive director at the Hope Center.

James says the shelter is dealing with a dilemma: How to bring as many people indoors during the cold weather as possible while still socially distancing. Now, they’re getting creative.

One new space is a temporary warming shelter. It’s new during the pandemic. Thirty people can spend the night with enough room for social distancing.

Starting in December, the Hope Center will have sleeping trailers.

James says at the start of the pandemic, they were able to borrow some of these trailers. She says the arrangement worked so well, the center invested in two of their own.

Each trailer can house 14 people. They also have a bathroom and shower.

“Our whole goal is to decrease exposure risk for all clients, all staff, and for our community,” James says.

James says these trailers will be used as long as they’re needed, even after the pandemic is over.

To James, finding these solutions is all about watching out for fellow Kentuckians.

“Anything you can do to contribute and to be kind to a person that you see, it just makes it better for all of us,” James says.

For more information, or to see how you can get involved, you can call the Hope Center and ask to speak with a volunteer. The phone number is 859-721-0144.

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