New director of Homelessness Office named

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Polly Ruddick
Polly Ruddick (Photo Courtesy: Office of Mayor Jim Gray)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Mayor Jim Gray has named Polly Ruddick Director of the Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention.

“Since establishing this office in 2014, our city has made real progress in helping citizens who were homeless find suitable housing. We have also addressed some key concerns, including how to best help those who are mentally ill, establishment of a shelter for homeless families, and establishing a ‘housing first’ approach,” Gray said. “But we’ve still got plenty of work to do. Polly has the skills to help us continue to move forward.”

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Ruddick is the former director of Development and Operations with 2-1-1, a United Way of the Bluegrass call center that connects people with available resources, like food, housing, health care, senior services, child care, volunteer opportunities and more.

“Working side by side with our citizens, stakeholders, and people experiencing homelessness to ensure that every citizen can access a safe and suitable housing option means a great deal to me. Lexington has many amazing service providers and community partners ready to continue moving us forward in the pursuit of positive solutions for the homeless population. I am humbled and honored to be chosen to lead that charge. I look forward to serving the citizens of Fayette County,” Ruddick said.

Ruddick replaces Charlie Lanter, who has been named Director of the Division of Grants and Special Programs. “Because of her work with 2-1-1, Polly has a strong working relationship with the agencies that serve people who are homeless, and she has worked with many of the citizens who are experiencing homelessness,” Lanter said.

Ruddick is a former research analyst with Kentucky Housing Corp. and facility manager at the Kentucky River Foothills Community Action Partnership.

She holds a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in corrections and juvenile justice studies, both from Eastern Kentucky University.