Lexington homeless shelters getting ready for the cold

Charlie Lanter, leader of Lexington’s housing advocacy and community development office, said they are ready for winter
Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 5:38 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington is preparing to help people living on the streets get through the upcoming cold weather.

Charlie Lanter, leader of Lexington’s housing advocacy and community development office, said they are ready for winter, and most shelter capacity has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

He says the city is already preparing its shelters for potential emergencies. Cold weather is coming, with temperatures dropping below freezing as early as next week.

He said this planning occurs annually, but this year is unique because of how early it needed to happen.

Lanter also says they can return to pre-pandemic shelter capacities, allowing more beds to support the city’s most vulnerable.

However, he says that could cause crowding problems in those spaces. So, his office is also providing more funding to street outreach for their staffing and hotel vouchers, since some people may be unable or unwilling to go to these shelters.

“We know that the shelter is not available or even appropriate for everyone, so in those instances, we’re going to have hotel beds. It will not be as widespread as it was during the pandemic. But we’re definitely committed to making sure that everyone has a place to go out of the cold,” Lanter said.

Lanter directly encourages anyone who wants to support their efforts to reach out to organizations like the Hope Center and The Salvation Army. He said donations of socks, underwear, and warm blankets are of particular interest.

The Hope Center said they have increased their capacity by 40 beds, while the Salvation Army can accommodate 30 to 40 more people.