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Compassionate Caravan out helping the homeless in Lexington

Compassionate Caravan out helping the homeless in Lexington
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 6:01 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The definition of compassion is to feel or show sympathy and concern for others. And there is a yellow van driving around Lexington doing just that for the city’s homeless population.

Thomas Caudill, the driver of that van, is on a mission to go around Lexington to areas he knows where the homeless in the city are, hoping to bring them in from the cold.

“Some people you know still won’t go in. All we can do is check on them. So, we do this when it hits 32 and it’s going to be really cold tonight,” Caudill said.

He’s loaded up the Catholic Action Center’s Compassionate Caravan, filled with blankets, hand warmers, and food. That way if people don’t want to come with him to a shelter, they have something to hopefully get by. Caudill just hopes it’s enough.

“I don’t know, sometimes you go home and you think, ‘Is he going to make it?’ You can’t do nothing but just pray for them and come back tomorrow. Hopefully he’s still here and the sleeping bag ain’t wet, and he made it,” Caudill said.

Caudill knows the feeling of not having a place to call home after he once lost his in a fire.

“So I know how it is when you come home and all you have is what’s on your back. Luckily I had somebody to turn to. So hopefully, through us doing this, sooner or later they’ll turn to us,” Caudill said.

That try and try again paid off Friday night, when a man Caudill has tried to convince to come in, finally said yes.

“He’d never go in. He’s a camper. That’s a guy that he’d rather stay out here than to go in. Tonight I pulled over and asked, ‘Do you want to go in?’ He’s like ‘Yeah.’ And I was like ‘Come on!’ I was so excited,” Caudill said. “You do this over and over and get so many nos. But when you get that yes, it gives us an opportunity to feed them and try to help them.”

For those still saying no, Thomas won’t give up, and will be back around day after day.

The Catholic Action Center has 102 beds. They’re all taken up. They suspect many of their clients will be using the shelter for up to a month, especially if conditions stay as cold and snowy as they’ve been.

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