Homelessness awareness encouraged in Jessamine County

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – A homeless coalition in Jessamine County is encouraging the community to learn and have open conversations about homelessness in a unique way.

“What we’re trying to physically do here is bring a visual representation of some of the struggles that people in need, struggling with homelessness or food insecurities or sub-standard housing,” says Johnny Templin, executive director and founder of the Jessamine County Homeless Coalition (JCHC). “We’re just trying to bring a physical- virtual representation of what some of those struggles might be.”

Templin has been living in an un-insulated shack since Tuesday. Barely able to fit in the thin bed, his heat comes from a little box fan and the door doesn’t properly lock, and you can hear how loud the constant traffic on Main Street is.

“It’s a lot of little struggles that you don’t think about, the obvious one I make fun of is like access to keep clean, daily hygiene and stuff,” says Templin. “This beard is absolutely killing me.”

Templin says he opened the homeless coalition about 6 years ago and it’s become his passion to help those less fortunate. He says while being in the shack for a week, he’s not only had conversations with families about his mission, but he’s been able to talk with homeless people about what they’re going through and how they can be taken care of. Templin says he knows the shack isn’t a perfect replica of what homeless people experience, but hes glad to see how many conversations it’s opened.

“With us, it’s always been about if we’re doing this for the right reasons and God’s in it, the money will take care of itself to a certain degree,” says Templin. “Let’s just get out and do the work and raise the conversation and awareness in the community.”

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