City to consider budget increase for the Extended Social Resources Program

LEXINGTON, Ky. (ABC 36) – There’s already a program in Lexington dedicated to the homeless.

It’s called “Extended Social Resource” or “ESR” and it’s a grant program that funds non-profits like the Hope Center that take the homeless in and get them back on their feet.

According to the non-profit “Civic Lex” when the pandemic hit…the Mayor considered cutting “ESR” from the budget.

The Urban County Council saved it…but reduced its budget.

Now, the program says it needs more money for improvements.

On Tuesday, a subcommittee for ESR presented the council with recommendations…including permanent funding for two of its primary programs.

“The first one, number one, ‘Community Based Initiatives Program’ is to be administered by the Department of Social Services. The second is ‘Overnight Emergency Shelter’ program that is to be administered by the Office of Homelessness Prevention and intervention” said Hilary Angelucci, Staff Member of LFCUG.

That first “Community Based Initiative” would fund non-profits that tackle issues like food security and programs for kids. It will have an emphasis on youth violence intervention and prevention, mental health, student learning loss and mentorship.

The second…would fund overnight emergency shelters, including those not already funded by the program.

The program wants $3.68 million for 2022.

According to Civic Lex, last year during the pandemic…it got $2.1 million….but over the last five…it says funding was closer to $3 million.

“40% is recommended to go to overnight emergency shelters and 60% is recommended to go to community based initiatives” said Angelucci.

It is not a done deal however; the council still has to consider it when budget season begins in the spring.

For a full look at the recommendations from the subcommittee, you can check out their presentation here.

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