Catholic Action Center building new expansion, director says it’s not enough

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Catholic Action Center is expanding, creating the Mother Teresa COVID-19 shelter, but come winter it says there will need to be more.

After about six months of turning people away the new shelter will open up 80 more beds.

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“That’s what we’re supposed to be doing is taking care of our people. We’re tired of telling people no, we had no room,” Ramsey said.

The center has 68 beds in its main building, which is about half its normal, non-pandemic, capacity.

“It is so needed to have more space, more beds for those folks who call the streets their home,” Ramsey said.

She said the center has owned 1050 Goodwin Drive since it bought the building four years ago, but it was waiting for the Kentucky Career Center to find a new location and move out.

But even this expansion, likely won’t be nearly enough come winter.

“The biggest concern we have is what’s coming up,” Ramsey said. “The winter, the flu season and COVID, together will be impossible for people to survive on the streets.”

Ramsey estimates even with evictions banned for the rest of the year, the pandemic will create more need than she can offer help for.

“It’s not going to take care of everyone. Right now, the estimate is 400 beds short in Lexington,” she said.

The new Mother Teresa shelter is expected to open in about a month, but first, the center needs to raise about $125,000.

“We’ve got to have it done before winter,” Ramsey said.

If you’re interested in donating to the Catholic Action Center you can find more information here.