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Arbor Youth Services provides shelter for 18 to 24-year-olds for the first time

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Posted at 1:47 PM, Oct 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-01 19:32:29-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — What a difference 19 days makes. On September 13th, LEX 18 reported on Arbor Youth Services' latest expansion and their critical deadline of October 1st. Right on schedule, they cut the ribbon on their new space.

"Over the past few days, we've had people refinishing the floors, fixing holes in the walls, painting," said Andrew Shayde, the development director for the non-profit.

Lexington officer Ryan Holland has been instrumental in the process. He has coordinated renovations and helped bring in donations from people and businesses like Ashley Home Store, who donated brand new beds.

Officer Holland said, "I didn't ever really lose hope that the right people would come forward because they always do because of the great people we have in our community."

With the new 14 bed home, Arbor Youth Services can now provide a place for homeless young adults to sleep for the first time. Until now, they have only been able to refer them to an adult shelter.

"To be able to fill this gap in services that's always been there, it's just huge," said Executive Director Lori Clemons.

The new home is so much more than just a place to sleep; it is also a place to shower, do laundry and above all, feel safe.

Andrew Shayde said, "Adult shelters can be very scary when you're 18 years old, so now they have a safe place to go with just people in their age bracket. That does incredible things for their self-esteem and mental health."

The work on the historic house is far from over. The outside still needs thousands of dollars worth of repairs to make sure it continues to stand for decades. Work this team believes is well worth it.

"This facility will help hundreds of kids for years to come," said Officer Holland.

"After such a hard year and a half, this is such a day of celebration and relief for all of us," added Clemons.

To help Arbor Youth Services continue their renovations and their mission, visit https://arborky.org/donate/.