Volunteers give out free meals after homeless shelter shut down

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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - A free meal was given out on Monday night in Hazard.

Volunteers from the Hope House gave out food at the pavilion next to city hall.

They want to make sure the homeless are still getting meals after the Hope House was shut down.

The staff says they were devastated.

"Every night you're wondering if people are still eating and where they're sleeping and that has a way of haunting ya," said former Hope House Director Ben Fugate.

Rashawn Murphy and Bessie Hughes volunteered at the Hope House from day one. Now, they want to make sure everyone still have what they need.

"I just want to make sure these people have some sort of substance in their stomach, you know it may just be chips and a hot dog but it's food," said Bessie Hughes the former volunteer coordinator.

They say they know what it is like not to have a home.

"I have been in their situations before. I have lived on the streets I have known what it feels like to starve, and I've been in their situation and it breaks my heart," said Murphy.

Hughes says helping at the Hope House was her calling.

"It devastated me. It really did, cause I put two years of my life in that shelter. Since the day we opened I've been there haven't gotten paid one dime," said Hughes. "I didn't do it for that reason. The first week after I was there I was like man this is what I was supposed to do."

The staff continues to be passionate about giving back.

"When you serve in the capacity that we have, you never lose the heart no matter the circumstances," said Fugate.

The Vicco Fire Department donated their time and food.

Fugate says while the Hope House is shut down, there are plans in the works for a new facility.

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