Lexington’s Compassionate Caravan changes gears during the pandemic

Published: Nov. 15, 2020 at 2:43 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Commonwealth is expecting cold nights this week. The freezing temperatures can be dangerous and even deadly.

Ginny Ramsey from the Catholic Action Center said the Compassionate Caravan will be active on those cold nights, but they’ve had to change gears because of the pandemic. For the first time in 21 years, they won’t be bringing people back to the shelter

“It’s chilling to think that this could happen,” she said. “That folks will be left out in the cold with COVID, with the flu, and cold. That combination will be deadly to many.”

The Compassionate Caravan will be able to bring warm supplies like blankets, socks, and hand warmers.

“We’ve been hoarding supplies since March and we have enough to be able to not only share with the people here [at the Catholic Action Center], but those on the streets,” she said.

Ramsey said they usually have space for about 200 people on cold nights for emergency shelter, but this year they’ve had to drastically cut their capacity. They also can’t accept people without getting tested for COVID-19 first.

With all the challenges they’ve faced so far, Ramsey said the cold weather is the biggest, as they try to keep people both healthy and warm.

“We all have to remember that when we’re at home in bed, where it’s warm and we’re enjoying life as much as one can during COVID, there are people that are left out there without shelter,” she said.

In addition to the warm supplies, the Compassionate Caravan is also giving people masks and hand sanitizer.

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