Day shelters keep lights on at night and are asking for community help
With temps in single digits, need, dangers even greater
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – When it’s cold outside, homeless shelters are packed. This is why some day shelters have found themselves operating 24/7, such as the Lexington Rescue Mission.
“There are some people that for whatever reason they can’t go to the shelters in the evenings for various reasons they’re not able to go there,” says Kim Livesay, the Director of Development for the outreach center.
The reason that people are turned away could be anything from having previous suspensions and even overcrowding due to covid and cold weather, forcing some to fend for themselves in a harsh climate. Christopher Woodward knows all about that lifestyle, as he was once homeless himself due to drug addiction. He tells ABC 36 that he spent a few winters in the frigid cold with just the clothes on his back.
“It’s a very very oppressive feeling, It’s very suffocating because you’re just saying to yourself, “God I don’t want to kill myself but please just don’t let me wake up”, that’s a horrible place for a person to be,” says Woodward.
Since getting clean, he now works at the Lexington Rescue Mission, but his experience seeing the effects of winter weather ended with him no longer being in need. Woodward says he and others have come across the homeless sleeping in the bitter cold, frozen and lifeless.
“Anytime there’s a winter pattern like last evening where it would rain first and then got cold is deadly, absolutely deadly. Then you have to seek shelter where you are because there are not always shelters available. You then have to go to a dugout an old baseball field somewhere and you have to pray to God that it doesn’t drop low enough to where it penetrates through your clothes because you won’t wake up,” explains Woodward.
Woodward and the shelter are asking the community for donations to help take care of people who have no place to go when it’s this cold. The alternative of living on the streets can be deadly.
If you would like to donate to the Lexington Rescue Mission, click the link here.