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Pandemic leaves Warren County man homeless and struggling

Published: Oct. 18, 2020 at 11:57 PM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The national unemployment rate has improved over the last few months according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, though not everyone has bounced back. Skippy Burse is a Warren County man who found himself homeless in the middle of the pandemic.

“There are some real, real people out here, really struggling," says Skippy.

Just months ago, Skippy was not homeless.

“I was working and then of course the COVID going on and transportation. What really hurt me was getting to and from work. I thought I had a guaranteed ride everyday, you know, to out there where I was working at.”

Skippy did not expect to become homeless, and now that it is nearing winter, he says he is scared.

“I said, you know, that would never happen to me. Well, it did," he says. “I’ve been asking people for help everyday. I’m not used to asking for help. My pride gets in the way.”

Skippy has been homeless since the end of July and camps out at the corner of Nashville Road and Broadway Avenue. Recently, someone stole most of his stuff, including his sleeping bag and his ID off the curb. Now, it is just him, his sign and two bags of belongings.

“Yeah, that’s it. Those two bags right there. That’s me,” Skippy confirms, gesturing to his belongings.

Skippy has been in contact with homeless shelters but says rooms are hard to come by because of COVID-19. Living on the street might seem like the worst thing that could happen to a person during this time. However, Skippy says, no. Addiction was far worse.

“Believe me, any bad day now compared to what it used to be is really a good day.”

Skippy says all he is asking for is a chance for work, for food and a coat to keep warm--anything a kind stranger can offer.

If you would like to donate to a local homeless shelter, a list is below:

The Salvation Army: 270-843-3485

Barren River Area Safe Space: 800-928-1183

Hotel Inc: 270-782-1263

Room in the Inn: 270-599-6401

Hope House Ministries: 270-904-1200

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