Lexington shelter expands operations amid omicron surge, freezing temps

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 5:02 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - This winter season, thanks to financial help from the city, the Hope Center has been able to put up a new warming shelter tent on their property.

They say this allows them to be mindful of safety from the pandemic, while also providing more warm spaces for people during a time when it’s needed most.

“We’ve spaced our clients out and so we need the extra space to accommodate those expediting homelessness in Lexington, but every time the temperatures drop the number of clients we’re serving has gone up,” said Katie Vogel, Director of Development at Hope Center.

Due to the pandemic continuing, and restrictions continuing along with it, they’re only able to usually help around 100 people within their main campus. But thanks to this new warming shelter, they’re able to expand that to help even more in need.

“We’ve been listing the capacity of this warming shelter at 50 and we’ve rearranged things to accommodate a few more than that because we’re pushing closer to 60 right now with the cold temperatures,” said Vogel.

While they still have vaccination requirements for their main campus building, this warming shelter allows them to help more people who may not be vaccinated.

And as the pandemic continues, the Hope Center also has other ways to curb the spreading of COVID-19.

“We also have some trailers set up as well as some spaces that we can put our quarantine area when someone is either exposed or tests positive for covid that we’re able to manage that and mitigate the spread,” said Vogel.

Through Jacob’s Hope Kitchen on site, the Hope Center is even able to expand their food operations so they can make sure everyone that comes to the warming shelter is fed as well.

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