Red Cross and Lexington church open shelters in extreme cold

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - With shelters running at full capacity, the Red Cross and a Lexington church opened shelters to help people trying to escape the cold and snow.

A new one opened to make room for more people and members of a Lexington church also stepped up to help the homeless stay warm.

A simmering bowl of hot soup, a comfortable place to rest your feet and a warm blanket all sound pretty nice on a cold winter night but for some, these things are more than just nice-- they're necessary.

“There was a man who froze to death it broke our hearts. I said we can’t just sit at home and be warm and have our brothers and sisters out on the street freezing,” said Suzie David with the Seventh Street Baptist Church in Lexington.

But on Friday, all of the year-round homeless shelters in Lexington were at full capacity which prompted the Red Cross to help open a temporary shelter on Georgetown Street.

“We are partnering with Community Action Council to open a shelter at their West End Community Center. Mostly it’s just a place to get in and get out of the elements and stay warm,” Stephens said.

Volunteers unloaded bags of blankets, clothes and food to hand out to people who plan on staying at the shelter Friday night.

Volunteers will also work around the clock throughout the weekend to make sure there are plenty of cots, sleeping bags and food available.

"When it gets drastically cold like this then folks need a place to stay," says Winn Stephens with the Bluegrass Chapter of the Red Cross.

The shelter on Georgetown Street will open at 7:30 p.m. and will remain open at least until 7:30 a.m. on Monday morning. Officials say they will keep the shelter open longer if necessary.

Volunteers at Seventh Street Baptist Church are even taking it one step further because they say they'll come to you.

“We will go pick them up and bring them here and then when they need to leave we can take them there,” Davis told us.

Church leaders say the church will remain open 24/7 until Monday and at that point they'll determine whether or not they should keep it open longer.

The Seventh Street Baptist Church is asking people to donate winter clothing, blankets and food for those who need it.

The church is located at the corner of Shropshire and Seventh Street.

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