LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton says “neighbors helping neighbors” is Lexington’s prescription for COVID-19.
“Our citizens are reaching out and helping their neighbors, as we all adjust to the many changes this virus is bringing into our lives,” Gorton said.
With the cancellation of many public events including the Sweet 16 tournaments, the mayor recommends steps people can take to with other concerns.
“First, we’re working with the United Way and Blue Grass Community Foundation to establish a Coronavirus Response Fund,” Gorton said. “The virus has economic consequences for many people. This is a way for everyone to help their neighbors.”
Philanthropic agencies, government and business leaders have gotten together to create the fund. It will provide one-time grants for social service organizations in Central Kentucky that can provide residents with access to food, prescriptions/healthcare, child care, and other basic needs.
People can give online at https://bgcf.givingfuel.com/coronavirus,by text at 859-208-2850 or by check. Make checks out to Blue Grass Community Foundation with Coronavirus Response Fund in the memo line. Mail checks to: Blue Grass Community Foundation, Attn: Coronavirus Response Fund, 499 E. High Street #112, Lexington, KY 40507.
“The fund is designed to expand our capacity to support individuals and families experiencing hardship as a result of the virus, and related closures and disruptions,” Gorton said. It will complement the work of local public health, non-profit and government agencies.
Lexington is also joining Kentucky American Water Company in suspending water shut-offs to homes. “This is another way we can help citizens whose budgets are strapped because of COVID-19,” Gorton said.
While the city's public parks, golf courses and playgrounds will remain open, the mayor says Lexington will close its community centers. “Our most important way of stopping this virus is social distancing. That’s impossible to maintain with a group in a community center."
* Parks facilities will not be available for rental, including neighborhood buildings.
* All events hosted or permitted by the City or held in a City facility will be postponed or canceled. For example, baseball leagues will not be able to practice on city fields.
* All closures apply through April 5 when they will be reevaluated.
* Parks and social services staff will shift responsibilities to helping citizens cope with fall-out from the virus. For example, they could reach out to our seniors, serve as distribution sites as needed and coordinate and support social service agencies.