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Advocates sleep outside to raise awareness of homelessness in Jessamine County

jessamine county homeless shelter.jpg
Posted at 5:29 PM, Dec 03, 2021

JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — On Friday morning, you could find these two talking and drinking coffee on the front porch. But this isn't their usual home and it's not really a home at all.

It's a temporary shack on the front lawn of the Jessamine County Public Library. One of them will spend the next four nights sleeping inside.

"It just shows the level of difficulty someone goes through when they're experiencing homelessness," said Johnny Templin. "From not having restrooms, to not being able to clean up, not being able to shave."

This is Templin's first year sleeping in the shack to raise awareness about homelessness. He's with the Jessamine County Homeless Coalition and he also experienced homelessness as a teen. Still, this is an eye-opening experience.

"It just shows the effort someone has to go to feel safe, and secure, and sheltered," said Johnny Templin.

Andy Bathje spent Thursday night in the shack to give Templin a break.

He's done this before as an advocate for people experiencing housing insecurity.

"I think there's a sense of gratitude for me. I do this by choice. There's a lot of people that don't do it by choice," said Bathje.

In Kentucky alone, that includes more than 4,000 people at any given time.

So while these two men typically have a place to live, they hope their time spent inside this shack will put a face to the epidemic of homelessness.

If you'd like to help, donations can be made to the Jessamine County Homeless Coalition during the GoodGiving challenge, at bggives.org, until Monday.