Lexington activates cold weather plan
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – When you look at the forecast for the coming week and see the low temperatures, you may think about staying inside and curling up with a blanket. However, not everyone in Lexington can do that.
As a result of the cold temperatures, the city activated their cold weather plan Tuesday to help the homeless community.
The plan is activated any time the temperature is expected to drop below freezing. The city says it will be in effect until January 2.
The cold weather plan allows those with nowhere to go free rides on Lextran to any of Lexington’s shelters, including the Catholic Action Center, The Salvation Army and The Hope Center.
These shelters will be taking in more people than normal.
“We have 132 beds and our folks who have those beds are welcoming their brothers and sisters from the streets to come and stay in the gathering room,” said Catholic Action Center Director and Co-Founder Ginny Ramsey.
Ramsey says the Catholic Action Center’s Compassionate Caravan will also be out in full force, taking warm clothing and hot food to people in need.
Ramsey says they do this to build relationships with those who maybe don’t want to go to a shelter.
“When it gets down to three degrees, they’re going to need to come in so they know that we’re there just to give them a ride, give them warm supplies, give them a smile, soup, get to know them, so that when it’s really dangerous, which it really is, that they’ll come on in,” said Ramsey.
In order for the caravan to work, the Catholic Action Center needs donations.
Things like thick winter coats, hats and gloves will help, but Ramsey says what won’t help is regular clothing such as thin sweaters, and even some light jackets.
If you want to donate those items, Ramsey asks you to take them to a different shelter so that the Catholic Action Center has room for the cold weather clothes people need now.
At the top of the center’s list of needs is long underwear in large sizes. These are perfect for layering.
“Our only hope for some of these people is that they’re gonna be layered so much that the cold will not make them sick,” said Ramsey.
She says the city’s cold weather plan is special because it provides help to everyone, no matter their background.
“We’re all God’s children, everyone needs to be cared for and we just thank the community for all their help in supplying the supplies that we need and the manpower and the hands and hearts to make this happen,” said Ramsey.
Ramsey says anyone is welcome to join the caravan.
“People care and they want an opportunity to be able to help. well, here is an opportunity that saves lives,” said Ramsey.
The Compassionate Caravan heads out each night around six while the cold weather plan is in effect.
If you see someone in need, you can call or text the caravan’s cold weather line (859-913-0038) any time between 5 and 11 pm.