Lexington neighbors voice concerns over plans for historic building

Lexington neighbors voice concerns over plans for historic building
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 6:40 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Neighbors in one downtown Lexington community met to discuss their concerns and frustrations over the Lexington Rescue Mission’s (LRM) plans to relocate their services to the area.

The LRM said they are moving to the area because that’s where many of their clients are, and they need more space to better serve them.

Neighbors said they aren’t against the cause, just the location and how they found out about it.

The packed room of neighbors Thursday evening said they were left in the dark about the Lexington Rescue Mission’s plans to open offices in this space at Jefferson and Second Streets downtown.

“It just looks like it’s very chaotic. There’s the more influx of the homeless in the neighborhood, we’re all concerned about crime, and loitering,” neighbor Mark Ford said.

The neighbors said they have been left in the dark. City leaders and zoning officials said they were unaware of the move too. But the property is under zoning that LRM can operate.

“We’re not unsympathetic to the cause. We all understand the cause and what they want to do, and we support it. But we have some safety concerns of our own. If we have some concerns, we’d like to see Lexington Rescue Mission address those,” Ford said.

However, the Rescue Mission was not invited to the meeting. Neighbors said it came together fairly quickly after an initial smaller meeting on Monday.

“A significant number of people that we serve are not homeless, they’re just people who are struggling to make ends meet. They may be struggling to put food on the table. They may have just lost a job,” said Laura Carr, the executive director of the Lexington Rescue Mission.

Carr said the new location would feed the homeless and offer outreach. She said it will not offer overnight accommodations.

“What the goal of the mission is, is to create a beautiful community. And part of the beauty of the community is caring for those who are most vulnerable. That’s what a community is ultimately judged on,” Carr said.

The mission said they plan to fully use the space by 2024.

The neighborhood association has a meeting Monday. Carr said she was invited to that meeting.

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