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LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — With inclement weather and freezing temperatures, sometimes a few minutes of being outside is all people can handle. Billy Nolen said finding a warm refuge can often seem impossible. 

“People here they really touch your heart, they reach out to people and they care, if the people here at mission didn’t care about us, we wouldn’t have nothing. They reach out to us, they show us they love us and we are somebody,” said shelter guest Billy Nolen.

The street outreach team at the Lexington Rescue mission was able to find Billy last night right before the frigid temperatures began.  

“They were able to get the doctor with us to be able to attend some of the immediate medical needs but then we’re able to connect with another agency to move him into an apartment,” said Laura Carr.

Carr said she can’t imagine what might have happened to Billy if they hadn’t discovered him when they did. 

“We haven’t gone out to where he was when he was freezing to death you know he may not still be here,” said Carr.

Lexington Rescue Mission said they are seeing over 150 more homeless people than any other time of the year in Lexington.

Polly Ruddick, director of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention said they have been preparing since last August to help individuals stay out of the cold. 

“In total during the winter, we add about 400 emergency shelter beds, and that gives us every single person who is experiencing homelessness in Lexington, Fayette county access to an emergency shelter bed,” said Ruddick.

We have hot breakfast and hot lunch ready for everybody and I’m just trying to make sure that people have coats and hats and gloves and hand warmers and whatever they need in order to stay warm,” said Carr.

It doesn’t end there.

“Connecting people to long-term treatment if that’s it need that they have, helping to connect them to benefit so that they have things like health insurance, food stamps and things that they need to be able to survive,” said Carr.

Street Guide

A Street Guide from Lexington Rescue Mission, showing places people can go for daily meals, clothing, overnight shelters, transportation, and daycare.
A Street Guide from Lexington Rescue Mission, showing places people can go for daily meals, clothing, overnight shelters, transportation, and daycare. (Provided by Lexington Rescue Mission)