“Compassionate Caravan” Helps Homeless Beat the Cold

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- As temperatures begin to creep below freezing, one local organization is gearing up to make sure everyone is Fayette County has a warm place to sleep at night.

“We try to do this so nobody dies because every year somebody usually dies from the cold and all this. So we try to do this to educate people and to try to get help,” said Thomas Caudill, a volunteer with Compassionate Caravan.

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Caudill is a driver for Compassionate Caravan, a service that offers free hats, gloves, blankets and even rides to shelters for the homeless on frigid nights.

“Sometimes people get category about homelessness or you know this or that but they’re brothers and they’re sisters. There’s moms, there’s dads and all they need is somebody, you know, just to be there in the low part of their life. It can happen to anybody,” said Caudill.

The caravan service was launched last year, after it’s organizer, Ginny Ramsey, noticed a sharp increase in the amount of people wanting to help.

“There is no reason in Lexington, Kentucky that anyone would die from exposure on our streets. There are too many people that care. There are too many places they can be,” said Ramsey, co-founder of the Catholic Action Center.

On a typical night drivers canvas different areas of the city frequented by the homeless to check up and make sure everyone is doing okay.

“When you’re out in the freezing cold and you’re driving around all night, you’re in the best position to find people who are in danger and people who underestimate, especially I think the homeless population, they don’t have the clothing, the gear. They don’t have just the protection from the elements that you know most of us take for granted,” said Chy’Anne Krugler, a volunteer.

The caravan runs every night temperatures drop to dangerous levels, something Caudill says shows the compassion within the community.

“You get involved in ministry or get involved in something, you know, that;s trying to help somebody, then you really realize how important it is we need one another. Without one another nothings going to happen, so we’re able to help through one another, you know,” said Caudill.

The Catholic Action Center also has a phone line people can call if they see someone who may be in danger out in the cold.

The number is 859-913-0038.