LEXINGTON, Ky. – With temperatures expected to reach the 90s during the next several days, the Hope Center’s Street Outreach team will be out to check on people who are unsheltered.
The team members visit known camps and follow up on referrals from Lexington Police, the Office of Homeless Prevention, Parks and Recreation, and other community members.
When it’s above 90 degrees, the city implements its hot weather policy, which includes free rides to shelters provided by Lextran. They also have local cooling stations that will be open during the inclement weather. Part of the work of the outreach team is to ensure that people know about these resources.
“Our team will be out on the streets, checking on people and making sure they are aware of how to get to shelters should they wish to go,” said David Shadd, director of programs at the Hope Center. “The Hope Center shelter as well as other local shelters also relax the prior restrictions and allow people who may not normally be able to stay during the day time to do so during the hot weather, so we make sure they are aware of this information.”
The outreach team members provide bottled water, food and other supplies for people whom they encounter on the streets. They also make referrals and help with finding other resources these clients might need, including medical care, mental health services and referrals for housing.
The outreach team is out on patrol from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every week day. (Other volunteer organizations conduct outreach on the weekends.)
In addition, the Hope Mobile is a mobile outreach RV that is parked at a different downtown church each week day. It provides sack lunches, water, basic hygiene items and can provide referrals to other services.
What you can do
When hot weather hits, the need for donations also increases, including:
- Bottled water
- Single ride bus passes or money for those passes.
Although Lextran gives free rides to the shelters during emergency weather, it is often less than 90 degrees but too warm for people with medical conditions to walk to health-care and other appointments.
Items can be dropped off at the Men’s Emergency Shelter at 360 W. Loudon Ave.
For more information on how to volunteer or donate, call 859-225-4673, text LEXHOPE to 50155 to donate, or visit www.hopectr.org