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'The Dignity Station' offers a new tool to keep cool this summer

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Posted at 8:50 PM, Jun 17, 2024

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — On hot days like today, experts advise people to stay indoors during the middle portion of the day. Not everyone has that option, though.

Rodney Rittenberry has experienced spending summers on the streets, trying to stay cool. He shared some of his tactics to stay cool.

“When I walk, I see a water faucet, a water spigot on the side of the building, I’m going to go up and I’m going to put my head in my hands,” he said, cupping his hands, and motioning a water splash to his face. “It was rough, you know. It was hard. There were times that I didn’t have enough energy to get up and walk around.”

This summer, Rittenberry has found a place at the Catholic Action Center. Director and co-founder Ginny Ramsey emphasized the importance of providing shelter for people during the extreme summer months.

“We realize it's time for the community to come forth, and to be able to give them what they need to survive, because this is not talking about just being comfortable. It is survival,” Ramsey said.

“It takes everyone to make a difference in homelessness. We can’t say, ‘oh that’s the government’s responsibility.’ That’s the worst thing that could happen.”

While Ramsey loves serving the community, she hopes the community understands their role in helping out. Along with volunteering, Ramsey suggested people keep cases of water in their cars to give to people struggling on the streets.

“We all have to be a part of the solution because that’s what we are. We’re community,” Ramsey said.

One way the Catholic Action Center is caring for the homeless is through its new Dignity Station trailer.

“This is the greatest thing that has ever happened to us homeless,” said Rittenberry.

The Dignity Station means a lot to Rittenberry, who volunteered to help with the sign-up sheet this week. The trailer offers a restroom, shower, and laundry for people on the streets.

“So far, it’s giving a lot of people the dignity of cleanliness and connection to folks who care,” said Ramsey.

The Dignity Station is scheduled to be set up on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the Lexington Rescue Mission and again on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the Goodwill on New Circle Rd.

You can find other cooling stations around Lexington here:

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