Beacon of Hope closes to new residents during pandemic

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WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ) – People are having to make gut wrenching choices during this pandemic including homeless shelters.

Michele Bradford is the founder and director at the Beacon of Hope Emergency Shelter in Winchester.

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She says the doors are closed to new residents. Currently, she has about 60 people living at the shelter and she says that’s already overwhelming especially as the coronavirus spreads.

“It’s so hard not to say ‘yes come in, yes come in’,” said Michele Bradford, Founder/Director.

Bradford says she’ll get at least one person a day coming through the shelter’s doors on average.

She’s turning those people away, but not without any help.

“We will offer them food. We will offer whatever help we can give them,” said Bradford.

Bradford says there’s about 10 elderly people living at the shelter. Bradford, staff, and residents are cleaning the facility five times a day.

People only leave if they have work or a doctors appointment. When they return, they have their temperature checked.

Bradford says no one has been sick. If someone does get ill, she says the first step will be contacting their doctor. If it’s a severe case, she’ll rely on her connections to help.

“I’ve got enough resources and help in Clark County that I can make a phone call and they would help me find a spot for them to go,” said Bradford.

The shelter needs donations and Bradford says the biggest need is food.

If you would like to make donation, call the shelter first. A staff member will come out to you to pick up the supplies.

If you’d like to make monetary donation, click here.

If you’d like to contact the shelter, click here.

The shelter will keep everyone up-to-date on its Facebook page.