City buys property to be space for homeless

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 8:34 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2021 at 7:54 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Government has purchased a piece of land that will be used to house part of the city’s homeless population.

It’s part of a four-part plan by the city to address the growing homelessness problem in Louisville. Part one of the plan is designed to provide a safe, outdoor space with access to food, showers and services.

Mayor Greg Fischer emphasized that there’s still plenty more to be done. But for now, the space at 212 E. College Street - a location that was the former headquarters of the Archdiocese of Louisville - will serve as a safe space for people in Louisville experiencing homelessness.

The residents will have access to Food, showers, and outreach services.

Keisha James has battled homelessness for years, but she now has a roof over her head. She said something like this would have really helped her and people like her.

“It’s humbling to have to ask for help. A lot of people don’t like to ask for it, but a closed mouth don’t get fed,” said James, “and sometimes you block your blessings when you don’t ask. I’m working on that myself.”

As it stands the space purchased by the city will only be for individuals. The city said it will work on getting something up and running for families.

Keisha James said she hopes that gets done, having kids of her own.

“Trying to take your kids from pillow to post, you got to feed them, you got to get them ready for school,” said James. “It’s a strain I wouldn’t wish on anyone.”

James still interacts with the people on the streets around this location. She’s hopeful they take advantage of this opportunity when it comes about.

“I think it will be a blessing for them,” said James. “I just hope they appreciate it and are grateful for it.”

The site, which was purchased by Metro Government for $1.6 million, is intended to serve as an alternative to the unsafe conditions of some of Louisville’s homeless camps. The goal would be to provide a stepping stone that could lead to permanent housing in the future. City leaders estimate it will cost another $1.4 million to outfit and operate the site.

The East College Street site It could be up and running in 90 days. It’s not for families, but is for individuals and their belongings, including pets.

The Louisville Metro Office of Resilience and Community Services says that a place for families could come in the future.

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