RICHMOND, Ky. (FOX 56) — Martin Luther King Day is a day across the nation where we not only remember and honor Dr. King’s mission and message, but it’s also a day when hundreds of organizations give back to their communities as part of the day of service.

In Kentucky, more than 4,000 people living don’t have a place to call home. Monday, a few dozen people marched the streets of downtown Richmond to advocate for housing for all.

Marchers called for more resources for people experiencing homelessness in Madison County, specifically more shelters.

Rev. Mitch Brown, the president of the Richmond-Madison County NAACP, said, “The plight of the homeless, it enlightens that area because even in weather like this they are in more of need.” 

On any given night more than 200 people in Madison County experience homelessness, but nightly shelters are limited, which is creating concern for advocates who say housing should be a right, not a privilege.

Edliniae Sweat is a board member of Berea Room In the Inn. RITI is a seasonal shelter hosted at the Creekside Lodge in Berea. Sweat explained why Monday’s mission was so personal.

Sweat said, “We’re supposed to love our brothers, be there for our brothers. No one should be without. Everyone should be on the same equal playing field. And homelessness it ought not be that’s the bottom line.”

The 29-degree weather canceled marches in other parts of the Bluegrass, but in Richmond, marchers said the weather was perfect to take a walk in someone else’s shoes.

Kor’ee Jackson explained, “When people say equal they’re talking about giving people equal rights. But to be equitable, if somebody was short and somebody was tall you would give the short person a stool so they can see the same way as the tall person. So putting us out here in the cold is given us how the homeless people are every day. We can barely survive a couple of hours so imagine how they feel going through it 24 hours a day every day.”

To stay true to Monday’s mission, before the march started the NAACP collected items to donate to the 2 homeless shelters that serve Madison County.