Neighbors want Community Inn gone, Community Inn fights to stay

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) It's not the backyard view of the Community Inn that bothers Martha Webster. It's the people the building draws.
"You got a cigarette? You got money? Can you give me a ride?"
Those are the questions Webster gets in the evenings, as the homeless file down her street toward the Community Inn-- a shelter under continued scrutiny by the city.
Beth Musgrave, reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader spent several nights visiting the Community Inn.
"She's definitely having trouble finding appropriate places that are zoned for a shelter," Musgrave said of Ginny Ramsey, co-founder of the Catholic Action Center which run the Community Inn.
Musgrave said, "I was there right when they got in, so I witnessed what happens. They are searched and as soon as they can get in there most immediately find a bed and lay down."
A calm setting compared to what Pastor Dwayne Walker says his congregation sees on a weekly basis. His church, Mt. Olivet Baptist is three blocks from the Community Inn.
"They're seeing people using of the bathroom, sex acts during the day, accosted for money. We've had many sleep on our buses and on our van," Walker said.
The church has been there since '95. Walker says they don't want to move.
"I feel like god's put us here." And he feels like the Community Inn is breaking the law by being so close. The Community Inn, was slated to be a church under a conditional use permit granted by the city. But it soon became apparent that not only church was being held there. The homeless were coming and staying the night.
"Their conditional use permit has been revoked by the city so right now they are looking for a new home," Musgrave said.
But for Martha Webster, the search for a new location is taking too long. She's tired of being scared.
"I'm not saying that homeless people don't need help. I do think they need. It should never ever have been put in this neighborhood," Webster said.

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