Homeless organizations prep for colder weather
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The incoming colder weather leaves one group of people even more vulnerable than usual, the homeless. Without a place to store coats or winter gear, Lexington Rescue Mission says many who are homeless go into the season without these essential items.
Veterans club Inc. has one simple message.
“It’s about the transfer of hope,” says Jeremy Harrel, founder and CEO of Veterans Club Inc.
Harrell says he understands some of the struggles of being homeless and that’s why he’s made it his mission to give all he can to those in need.
“Letting them know that when you’re cold or when you feel hopeless or when you’re lonely that to know that there are people who care about you,” says Harrell. “This is what you’re looking at, people who donate their time and money to make sure that these folks have things that they need.”
Veterans Club visited Lexington for the first time Wednesday, passing out winter weather gear to the homeless downtown. Harrell says his organization usually does quarterly handouts to homeless in Louisville, but he says he knew he needed to come share the love in Lexington.
“I read a report where the numbers seem to be increasing of homeless in Lexington and so we just want to try to address that in the small way that we can, just essentially by making sure they have the basic needs,” says Harrell.
Lexington Rescue Mission says the homeless population is noticeably growing, in part thanks to COVID. At the next count of homeless people in Lexington, the Lexington Rescue Mission says it expects it to be over 1,000.
“Our numbers of people we’re seeing have went up,” says Yvette Davis, Lexington Rescue Mission development coordinator. “We were feeding maybe 60 a day for lunch and we’re over 100 now and a lot of them are not repeat people, they’re new people coming in every day that we haven’t seen before.”
The Lexington Rescue Mission says donations are always welcome and to think of donating what you would need if you were to go camping in the cold, like warming blankets, thick socks, gloves, hand and feet warming packs, even sturdy backpacks to carry things in.
“Biggest help we could have also is volunteers,” says Davis. “People who are willing to be recurring volunteers because we really need help even when we get the items in we need help sorting.”