New shelters pop up around city as metro invests half a million dollars in homeless relief

St. Stephen opens low barrier shelter

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - In one month, multiple low barrier homeless shelters have opened and storage options for the homeless are soon to come.

As low barrier options become a reality in Louisville, homeless camps continue to be cleared out.

At Brook and Caldwell Street, individuals were camping on state property. Metro officials decided to clean out the camp after receiving complaints. The Heuser Hearing Institute is located nearby and has reported issues with the camp in the past.

Many who choose to stay outside have cited the restriction of traditional shelters as a reason to not go inside. Most shelters will separate men and women. Teenage boys will be separated from their mothers in shelters as well.

Saint Stephen Church, in Louisville’s California neighborhood, opened a shelter for families on Tuesday.

“We want to give options to people," Councilman Bill Hollander (D-District 9) said. “We want to tell people that there is a place for you to go so you can get off the street.”

Hollander has advocated for homeless relief and he’s happy to see this newest low barrier option opening.

“This is not something that metro government can do alone,” Hollander said. “We need partners, and this is a very strong one.”

St. Stephen’s shelter can house six families in individual rooms.

“Over 55% of those who are homeless are African Americans,” Reverend Dr. Kevin Cosby said. “It’s important that the black community and black institutions be at the forefront of addressing this need.”

Dr. Cosby, of St. Stephen Church, is proud of the shelter that came together quickly. About $97,000 were allocated to the church to launch the shelter. Families who need the space can call the church.

"We are making good progress but there is a lot more to do,” Mayor Greg Fischer said.

The mayor hopes to see a storage component of the homeless relief efforts happen soon. St. John’s was allocated about $46,000 to create a storage facility that the homeless can use.

Maria Price, with St. John’s, said soon the storage facility will be present in the former First Link parking lot on Liberty Street between Preston and Jackson near downtown Louisville.

The facility will be made of four shipping containers filled with lockers. Volunteers are needed to help operate the center.

Potential volunteers can contact Glinda at gadkins@stjohncenter.org for more information on info sessions January 29 or February 3.

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