LEXINGTON, Ky (LEX18) — Arbor Youth Services in Lexington is a vital lifeline for young people faced with homelessness. Since 1976 the non-profit has provided a safe environment for children who have suffered abuse, abandonment, or are at risk of victimization. Now, for the second time during the pandemic, they are expanding.
"The need is growing, our homeless population among youth is growing, and we're trying to hustle to address that," said Andrew Shayde, the Development Director for Arbor Youth Services.
To complete the renovation of the historic home on W. Third Street, they reached out to someone with a reputation for getting things done. Ryan Holland is a Neighborhood Resource Officer with the Lexington Police Department. He has also helped renovate homes for veterans, hand out popsicles to kids and he also has a personal connection to Arbor Youth Services.
Holland explained, "I've brought children as a police officer to this house, and I've also taken them home with me as a foster home. I have seen the important things they do for children in our community."
Holland said this project is a big undertaking, but they have already been incredibly blessed. Lots of companies have donated their time to do the work to help transform the home into a comfortable living space, but the money for supplies is what is needed immediately.
"I've raised about $2000 right now, we need $10,000 to get the materials for the inside of the house done," Holland explained.
If they don't get the money and complete the repairs by October 1st, Arbor Youth Services will lose a $60,000 grant. Not meeting that deadline would mean so much more than losing funds, but it would also mean losing the security they provide to make sure no child has to call the streets home.
Holland said, "This will be a facility for hundreds of children for years to come if we do it right."
"We are begging on all of the angels out there to help us by giving," Shayde added.
In addition to all the interior renovations, the outside of the house needs about $100,000 in repairs. They will work in phases to get those done after completing the inside.
They are working to raise $10,000 by October 1st.