RICHMOND, Ky. (FOX 56) – Richmond residents are noticing differences as they’re coming on Exit 90, off Interstate 75.
The difference, a homeless encampment that has been there for some time is gone.
Where Exit 90A circles onto Lexington Road, Richmond residents are used to seeing pitched tents and a homeless community, however, it’s no more.
So what happened?
Richmond Police Chief Rodney Richardson said, “Well, it started some weeks ago, and it was a partnership with the Kentucky Transporation Cabinet. What we had noticed was some of the encampment areas and the trash and some of the things that were used for temporary housing there blowing in the roadway, blowing across the entrance ramps, so you can imagine the safety hazards that it caused with vehicles trying to merge onto I-75.”
Richardson went out in the last week to oversee the clean-up efforts and said there was more trash and debris along the ramp than anyone could have imagined.
“When I was out there myself, it appeared impossible to me that all that trash was brought in by the people living there,” Richardson said. “I almost seemed to think that once people saw that trash, they thought it might be ok to throw it out.”
Richardson said the cleanup efforts finished last week, with the help of the city’s street and roads department.
So where did the homeless community go?
Richardson said his team went out here ahead of the sweep to tell the people living there they would need to relocate. Many asked where they could go.
The Richmond police officers told them Madison Home, off Fifth Street, was waiting to take them in.
Madison Home is a non-profit organization in Richmond comprised of various churches. It provides shelter, clothes, meals, and programs to people living without homes or shelter. It was the city’s go-to on the endeavor of closing down the encampment.
Melissa Slone, executive director of Madison Home, said they lost their tents, clothes, and more in the cleanup, but the organization could give them those supplies once more, even providing showers.
“I can’t say for sure how many were living in that encampment. What I can say, is that after that encampment was shut down, we did see an increase in people that we serve,” Slone said.
Slone added that to this day, those who came from the encampment off Exit 90A are still using Madison Home’s services.
LATEST KENTUCKY NEWS:
“I mean, they’re upset because they’ve been removed from their home, but they are so-to-speak, rolling with the punches,” Slone said.
If you or someone you know needs assistance with a difficult living situation in Richmond, Madison Home can be reached online.
Other resources and partners in Richmond can be found on the city’s resource directory.