Hope Center restarts street outreach team as cold temps settle in

Published: Dec. 10, 2020 at 3:51 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As we look ahead to colder temperatures, the Hope Center in Lexington has restarted its street outreach team.

The goal is to get the homeless into shelter away from the cold and COVID-19.

The outreach team is on patrol every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., looking for those who may need a place to stay.

The Hope Center has partnered with the Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention, Community Action Council, and New Vista, to provide the homeless with shelter during the winter.

Carrie Thayer, who oversees development at the Hope Center, says keeping people off the streets is more important than ever with COVID-19.

“They’re still practicing social distancing. We’re keeping them spaced out we’re wearing masks,” Thayer said. “So, it’s a very cautious atmosphere here just to keep everybody safe.”

Due to social distancing requirements, the Hope Center is housing fewer people than normal. However, the center has opened temporary shelters and two housing trailers for extra space.

Thayer says clients who come in are tested for COVID-19 and they must also quarantine. Clients are also not permitted to leave the building unless they have jobs or appointments.

Because of the restrictions, Thayer says some people are reluctant to stay at the shelter. She explains the Hope Center is offering a warming center for the homeless who choose not to stay at the shelter.

Usually this time of year, the Hope Center would be asking for clothes donations. But due to restrictions, the center is not accepting clothes but is in need of toiletries.

The Hope Center is asking people to give them a call if they know someone on the streets and need a place to stay.

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