'Compassionate Caravan' makes its first trip of the season

Published: Nov. 19, 2017 at 10:18 PM EST
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The Catholic Action Center's 'Compassionate Caravan' made its first trip of the season Sunday night. Every year around this time the caravan heads out looking for people living outside, trying to bring them indoors.

"We worry always when they're out on the streets because no matter what the temperature is it's dangerous," Ginny Ramsey, co-founder of the Catholic Action Center, said.

While many are climbing into warm beds ahead of a new work week, some are struggling to find a decent place to sleep.

"We knew, looking at the weather, how bad it's going to be tonight," Ramsey said. "The first step to helping them help themselves is that there are people who care and aren't here to judge."

Ramsey has made it her mission to get Lexington's homeless off the streets. The 'Compassionate Caravan' ran like a well-oiled machine Sunday evening, stocked with socks, hats, gloves and blankets.

'Brother Thomas' Caudill has been driving the caravan for years now. Ideally, he'd like to get everyone inside.

Thomas Caudill said, "You'll see tonight, everything that belongs to them is in these shelters. What they call home is under a bridge and if they leave it it's gone in the morning, so they won't come in."

The first really cold night of the year, Caudill just wants to start conversations.

"Hopefully we can get a relationship, so when it does get below zero they'll come in and nobody will freeze to death."

Lexington shelters have been hitting capacity. The Catholic Action Center has had its 130 beds full since the new center opened earlier this year. On nights like this no one gets turned away.

Ramsey said, "Not only on these extra cold nights will our 130 beds be full, but we will also open our gathering room where people will have warmth and a chair."

Each person who walks through the shelter's front door makes for a little less worry.

"They count," Ramsey said. "We want them taken care of and there are going to be people putting themselves out in this cold to make sure they're not cold."