LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - There are about 6,300 people, including children, who are living on the streets of Louisville, according to the Coalition for the Homeless.
In 2018, Metro Council allotted over $500,000 for what’s called an emergency low entry barrier shelter. The space officially opened on Christmas Eve.
There is a sense of community inside the shelter. Unlike other shelters, pets are allowed, men and women can stay together and families aren’t separated.
“I really would not have been able to deal with the fact that we would have been separated,” Candice Curry, a wife who lives at the low barrier shelter said. “It would break my soul.”
Curry and her husband do not have children. At a traditional shelter they would have been split up and their dogs not allowed. That’s not the case at Wayside Rescue Station.
“We are here to provide them a space and gain their confidence so that we can encourage them in some other paths,” Nina Moseley, Chief Operating Officer of Wayside Christian Mission, said.
Moseley said the only rule is to behave inside the shelter. Drugs and alcohol are not allowed but you don't have to be sober.
“It's a totally different way of providing services but so far it seems to be successful,” Moseley said.
Moseley said about 90 people are staying at the shelter. She also said there was one incident of drugs inside and the police were called without issues.
“I’m pleased," District 4 Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith said. It’s not perfect but we are getting ready to conduct a study to find out what it will take in Jefferson County and how much funding and who needs to be involved to create a permanent low barrier shelter."
Sexton Smith said she will continue to work to reduce the number of people living on the street. Curry said that gives her an option to stay with her family permanently.
“This is working for the most part, in ways that people are not on the streets,” Curry said.
Moseley said another aspect of the low barrier shelter is storage. The city is discussing storage options for those who are homeless.