LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — On the same day the city of Lexington’s Homeless Prevention and Intervention Office will conduct its annual “LexCount,” the body of a homeless man was found near the Walmart parking lot off Winchester Road.
“I believe this person died from exposure,” said Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn.
Ginn was basing his hypothesis off police records. Lexington police were able to identify the man from prior arrest records and told Ginn he was known to have abused alcohol.
“If a person is intoxicated, a lot of the time they believe, or they feel as if they’re warm,” Ginn said. “They’re not understanding how cold they are, especially over extended periods of time.”
This tragedy happened on the same day volunteers from Lexington will spend a few hours tonight canvassing the city’s well-known homeless areas to not only offer assistance, but to get a handle on the homeless numbers the city is currently facing. Having that data allows the city to better manage its homeless and intervention budget.
“Those numbers are sent to Congress,” said Polly Ruddick, who directs the Homeless Prevention and Intervention Office. “It gives policy makers, and stakeholders some data that’s actually rooted in good methodology.”
With those numbers, Congress can better appropriate the funding needed to properly assist the homeless population. A community, which sadly, has one fewer member today.
“My goal now is to notify next of kin,” Ginn said. “But a lot of time, with the homeless, that can be hard to do.”
*If you’d like to volunteer for tonight’s Lex Count, you may do so by registering at Heritage Baptist Church, located at 163 N. Ashland Avenue, by 8 pm.