Catholic Action Center prepares for cold nights

Published: Oct. 18, 2020 at 3:21 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As temperatures drop, concerns rise at the Catholic Action Center.

Director of the Catholic Action Center, Ginny Ramsey, is worried about the cold nights. “Our biggest fear is that all that they will face is not just a normal winter, but this winter with COVID, the flu, and cold weather.”

Ramsey says COVID-19 has forced them to change the format of the shelter. All of the people staying there are long-term residents. They aren’t allowing walk-in visitors, meaning several people have been turned away. “It’s a stake through our hearts to have to say no. We had to do it and we still have to do it to keep the people in our community here at the Catholic Action Center safe,” she said. Ramsey says they gave away their last heating kits this weekend, which were filled with things like sleeping bags and tents.

She has a plan to increase capacity for more long-term visitors by renovating new space upstairs in the same building. She expects the new area to be finished in two weeks. She says it will allow them to bring in more people, but it still breaks her heart not providing emergency winter shelter.

“We are going to be at 160 people. Normally on the worst nights of the winter will take it up to 200, 200+. We won’t be able to stack people are gathering room downstairs.”

In addition to the new space, Ramsey is preparing for the winter by partnering with churches to find more space for those cold winter nights.

The Catholic Action Center is also using space for COVID-19 testing. It will be open for public testing.

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