Shelter reacts to homeless deaths in Lexington

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)-People at Lexington’s The Catholic Action Center are reacting to the deaths of two homeless men who reportedly froze to death.

Co-founder Ginney Ramsey says people at the center were saddened by the loss of people they considered to be a part of their family.

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“Here at the Catholic Action Center, we’re a community,” she said.

Police say Jerry Johnson, known around the Catholic Action Center as “Jay Jay,” was found dead under an I-75 overpass Friday morning.

Temperatures were in the teens, with wind chill making conditions feel like single digits.

Friends from the Catholic Action Center attended a memorial service for him.

Later that same day, a second homeless man, who’s name has not been released was also found dead.

The coroner has not said how that man died.

Police say the man had existing health conditions prior to his death.

Ramsey says she had known the man from working at a separate community center.

She says even with programs and initiatives in place to help Lexington’s homeless population, some people can still fall victim to the environment.

She says there are a number of reasons, like mental illness and ego, that might keep someone from seeking shelter from cold temperatures.

Ramsey says society should be mindful that homeless people are forced to put their pride aside and accept help from other people.

“There’s something greater that we need to all be doing,” she says, “and that’s making people welcome.”

“They are children of God our brothers and sisters, and not just in word, but in action.”