Group in Bullitt County manages to help homeless on small budget

Updated: Apr. 3, 2019 at 6:36 PM EDT
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SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY (WAVE) - In Bullitt County, an organization is doing what they can to keep people off the streets.

The homeless population is small compared to the city of Louisville, but it’s still significant for an outreach known as Room in the Inn.

“We travel every night from one end to the other and cover Mt. Washington, Hillview, Shepherdsville, and Lebanon Junction to name a few cities,” Pam Rodgers said.

Pam and her husband Carl Rodgers started a chapter of Room in the Inn in Bullitt County five years ago. Ever since, they pick up those who are homeless and give them a warm meal and shelter.

“The burden is spread out across a wide base and that makes a lot of difference,” Carl said.

The Rodgers created a network with about 40 churches and community centers. Every location volunteers their space and provides a meal about once a month.

“The cost effectiveness is incredible,” Carl said.

Room in the Inn spends about $40,000 a year to help around 20 people a night.

Half of the money comes from Bullitt County Fiscal Court and the rest from donations. The cost covers vans, gas, and food. They don’t own any shelters.

In Louisville, the cost of housing the homeless may soon be compromised.

“There is no perfect answer,” Eric Friedlander, Metro’s Chief Resilience Officer, said. “It is going to take time and resources and we will make sure we dedicate that.”

Recently, the space under the I-65 overpass on Jefferson Street in downtown Louisville was cleared out and dozens of people were displaced. Many were unsure where they would go next.

“I see the possibility in Jefferson County of having four or five types of rotations like we are doing,” Carl said.

The Rodgers know not everyone wants to go inside, but they see their method as a cost-effective way to try.

"We haven't missed a hot meal or a night of shelters in our five years of doing this," Carl said.

Room in the Inn started in Nashville, so the Rodgers believe the size of Louisville shouldn't stop Metro from trying it out.

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