MANCHESTER, Ky. (WYMT) - Homelessness is not a problem that can be solved overnight but providing a warm place overnight to those without homes, especially in cold weather, can save their lives.
Until this week, Clay County did not have a permanent homeless shelter in place. Community members worked quickly to change that ahead of frigid weather.
"Bunch of us have got together, churches, pastors, business people, just regular citizens get together, began to meet, and try to figure out what we need to do", said Ken Bolin, a local pastor who helped organize the shelter. "So this is what happened."
First responders finding homeless men, women, and children outside would not have many ways of helping, even if they wanted to.
"We've seen them living under the bridge, living in tents beside the Daniel Boone Parkway", said Charles Weaver, a local firefighter.
Weaver and other first responders would bring homeless people to local churches and local pastors like Bolin, who would do everything they could.
"We basically would spend thousands of dollars a year just giving people a room for the night. It gets expensive. So why not work together and have a plan where people can come together in a central location."
Tuesday, an open house was held at the brand new shelter Bolin and others helped make a reality. The shelter, called Warm Souls for Worn Soles, now provides warmth, food, and beds to those without.
"Just getting to talk with these people and seeing their needs and being able to help them is very humbling", said Weaver.
The shelter has eight beds and is open from six in the evening until eight in the morning.
"Jesus wants us to do this because he himself was homeless a couple times in his life. And Jesus himself said, 'Foxes have holes, birds of the air have nests, but the son of man hath nowhere to lay his head'. And so Jesus understands homelessness probably better than anybody."
The shelter is located in Manchester across from the 911 call center on Town Branch Road.
If you would like to contact the shelter, call 606-599-6820.