LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – A large crowd turned out for a rally Tuesday night to address perceived injustices.
It was organized by a group known as “BUILD”, which stands for “Building a United Interfaith Lexington Through Direct Action”.
“Rise up and build” was the theme of the night.
During the last four months, BUILD leaders held several meetings with various professionals to identify solutions for some of Lexington’s problems, including a lack of affordable housing, mental health concerns, and violent crime.
Their findings show more than 14,000 families paid more than half their income on rent putting them in an uncomfortable situation of choosing between rent and food.
Rev. Brian Chenowith with Unitarian Universalist said, “We have a message, a vision, a call for justice for our home, our neighbors, everyone, all are called, we will not be silenced, and we will be heard.”
Yoshiya Togami with Lexington Friends said, “Housing is a crisis in our community, we’ve heard stories from our friends and neighbors who are struggling to pay rent, to find some place to live or choosing to live with relatives or move outside of Lexington to make ends meet.”
The group also said people with mental illness need more help and may not make it to their doctors’ appointments, pharmacies, or grocery stores without reliable transportation.
“Riding the bus often requires people to take off the whole day just for people to travel a few miles making public transportation not only inconvenient but expensive. This is a huge problem itself but when you add mental illness to the equation. Riding the bus goes from inconvenient to impossible,” Kabby Akers with Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary said.
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Members of BUILD claim violence will continue until the city has a proven solution.
“The number of people who are murdered in our city is on the rise, we continue to set records year after year. last year 44 people were killed in Lexington. Forty-four people that are no longer with us,” Belinda Snead with Consolidated Baptist Church said.
The next time the group will discuss the issues in public is April 24.