LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — While so many are planning to get together with family for the holidays, there are hundreds in Lexington who are homeless this season.
In 2020, Lexington city leaders counted nearly 700 people experiencing homelessness. As people browse and get a feel for different gift ideas, they're learning how their purchase can go far and beyond.
"We see the wood go from a real rough material to some of these beautiful products to you see," said Robert Littrell, who is the founder of the Iron Bridge Workshop.
"Our mission is really to foster relationships," said Littrell. "Healthy, life-giving relationships with the homeless."
He held an open house on Saturday for the community to support the homeless.
"A person can buy these products," Littrell said. "They get a really nice handmade wooden gift made of Kentucky native hardwoods. And they can know that 100 percent of the proceeds go back to helping the homeless."
It helps keep the lights on at the woodshop and pay the bills to keep it open. Buying a cutting board, coaster or other handmade item help give them a place to take the challenges they face off their minds for a bit.
"A lot of us are very uncomfortable when we see some person standing on the side of the road holding up a sign," Littrell said. "We really want to do something, but it just doesn't feel right. I tell people if you want to contribute to helping the homeless population, invest in an organization that knows how to deal with that population and that is willing to do that kind of ground work."
Littrell says chess boards are some of the best sellers.
"Many of our homeless neighbors are so talented and so capable," he added. "And it's great to see it and see people enjoy what they've done."
If you want to check out their shop but would rather shop online, you can check them out here.