Volunteers search streets trying to help the homeless

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) Community volunteers braved the cold Saturday night as they visited parks and downtown areas to urge folks to find shelter before temperatures plummet.

In downtown Lexington, sidewalks are pretty bare with many folks choosing to stay inside but not everyone has that option, which is why members of the Street Voice Council stepped up and took action.

Often times, the city's homeless population can be overlooked, even ignored, but those are the people who volunteers with the Catholic Action Center wanted to help.

“We want to make sure everybody has the opportunity to get out of the cold,” said Kelly Duffy with the Catholic Action Center in Lexington.

So on Saturday, two groups of volunteers went searching.

“We have gone all over to places we know that homeless people stay. We have been out since 7:30 Saturday evening and we have found four people. One at Phoenix Park and three more out the transit center.”

Their mission? To inform as many homeless people as possible about what options they have when the frigid temperatures roll in.

“Some know about the shelters already but they aren’t ready to go to them yet others are very happy we are giving them this information.”

She says, in this situation, the silver lining is that they didn't find too many folks in the nearby parks or outside the courthouse on Saturday night.

Below you can find a list of emergency shelters and warming centers that will be open to the public.

24-hour emergency shelters (7 days a week):

As a standing policy, when temperatures are below freezing, the Hope Center, Salvation Army and MASH Drop Inn Center are open 24 hours a day. People seeking relief from the elements may come at any time and are not required to leave.

• Hope Center Emergency Shelter for Men, 360 W. Loudon Ave.
• Salvation Army Emergency Shelter for Women and Children, 722 W. Main St.
• MASH Drop Inn Center (youth 0-17 yrs.), 536 West Third St.

Daytime Warming Centers:

• Catholic Action Center, 400 E. 5th St., daily 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
• Dunbar Recreation Center, 545 N. Upper St., special extended hours Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
• New Life Day Center, 224 North Martin Luther King Blvd., special extended hours Monday and Tuesday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Senior Citizens Center, 1530 Nicholasville Rd., special extended hours Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Lextran will offer free bus rides for individuals going to an emergency shelter or warming center on Monday and Tuesday.

Citizens can call Lextran at (859) 253-4636 to get the location of the nearest bus stop.

People in need of shelter or other human service assistance may call 2-1-1.

All citizens are encouraged to check on their neighbors and loved ones, especially the elderly and people with special needs.

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