Concerns over the homeless population in Lexington’s East end

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Lexington social worker and Executive Director for the East End Development Corporation, Billie Mallory, is asking the Urban County Council to do something about what she says is an increasing homeless population in the East end.

“I’m not against the homeless, I’m a social worker, and I’ve worked with the homeless about 15 years. But this is different, this is a different kind of homeless” said Mallory.

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Billie Mallory says her concerns are with people at the Third Street and Martin Luther King corner and Third Street and Elm Tree corner.

She says she has seen an increase in property damage, loitering, and violence.

“They’re all over this neighborhood and they’re just, they’re very threatening” said Mallory.

Lighthouse Ministries is in between those two corners, however, Executive Director Tay Henderson says those problems aren’t anything new.

“They have the option to go to shelters. I mean you have the Hope Center for men, unless you get kicked out of there, and you have the Catholic Action Center. There are shelters, there’s shelters for women and I think sometimes especially in the summer people don’t want to go to the shelters, they can stay outside. But, that whole area is a mess, it’s a mess.”

But, she does say that she has also seen an increase in people in the area and who come to eat at the ministry at night.

“I have noticed within the last week or two that more people are coming, so you know it went up, it was like 60 people at night and now were up to 80” said Henderson

The city’s annual point in time count that tracks the number of homeless in the area has not been updated this year, but in 2020 found there were 689 people experiencing homelessness.

Mallory just hopes change will come soon.

“It’s such chaos and disruption and that’s not fair to other people”