BULLITT COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - As communities across the country experience an increase in the homeless population, community members in Bullitt County are exploring new methods.
There isn't a single homeless shelter in Bullitt County.
Without a permanent homeless shelter, nonprofits like Room in the Inn and Bullitt County Housing First are working hard to make sure people have a safe place to stay.
Room in the Inn is a national concept that has been in Bullitt County since 2015. The nonprofit provides shelter 365 days of the year by rotating locations between 40 partnering churches. They serve about 15 families a night, and use vans to transport people between locations.
Room in the Inn incentivizes participants to find long-term housing options by connecting them with counseling, job resources and assistance with basic needs.
Tashia Johnson and her children used Room at the Inn's mobile shelters for five months.
"I started off in Hardin County. Me and my three children were homeless sleeping out of a car," Tashia Johnson said. "Truthfully, that was hard because I had three children that I have with me."
Founders Carl and Pam Rodgers explained how the nonprofit keeps cost low.
"We take people in and give them transportation, job training, meals and overnight shelter," Rodgers said. "We use existing facilities and the community at large to make it happen."
Other groups in Bullitt Co. have stepped up to address the homeless problem. Pastor Rob Beckette and other community members formed Bullitt County Housing First to connect homeless people in Bullitt County with resources.
"Now is the time to start addressing the issue, and not wait until it is completely out of hand and overwhelming," Rob Beckette said.
Beckette said without a building, Bullitt Co. Housing First does not provide a place to stay. They are fundraising to build the first permanent homeless shelter in Bullitt County.
"This is a multifaceted dilemma, and it takes a lot of different ideas to help resolve the issue," Rodgers said.
The Rodgers said Room in the Inn has never turned anyone away. They said they are proud of their method and helping people like Johnson.
"I actually moved into my own place in July, so I did almost close to five months," Johnson said. "I got cleaned in Room in the Inn. It has been a blessing."