The face of homelessness is changing. Many people are one emergency away from the streets. Crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe are filled with stories of people asking for help in keeping their home due to unexpected medical bills or other expenses.
Our overnight shelter is the foundation of The Healing Place. We provide a safe place to stay for those who want to get off the streets for the night. They may be homeless, escaping violence at home, or in active addiction. We may not know their story, but we’re here to help.
Last year, more than 2,400 individuals spent at least one night in our overnight shelter – receiving a warm bed, food, a hot shower, and clean clothes. If someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they’re not turned away like they are at other shelters, they’re exposed to the promises that recovery can bring.
More than 1,500 people in Louisville are living on the streets or in shelters – some by choice, others the victim of circumstance. In September, we began a partnership with Metro Louisville on a pilot program to provide case management and peer support services to the homeless in our community. The 12 beds for our Homeless Outreach Program quickly filled thanks to the hard work of our team who spend time in homeless camps across the city every day, building relationships and handing out food and care packages. Starting in April, there will be 24 beds available in this life-changing program.
The Homeless Outreach Program has served more than 50 clients since September; more than a dozen have moved into their own homes, signed leases, or reconnected with their families. One of those clients is a woman named Ann. Ann, who uses a wheelchair, stayed in our overnight shelter off and on for years, and spent about four months in the Homeless Outreach Program. She recently moved into her own apartment and reconnected with her daughter, who has provided a lot of support for her. She said when she was in the Homeless Outreach Program, she felt safe for the first time in a long time.
For those who work in the Homeless Outreach Program, the mission is personal. Mary is a Peer Support Specialist who has been homeless herself. “When I was homeless, I felt like I was forgotten. I felt like nobody cared. I felt like I was literally out there on my own,” she says. “This program is so important because we help people who might just need one extra step up. We don’t give them handouts – we just help them. Sometimes that’s all they need – a bed, somewhere to start, and someone to make them feel like they matter. And it’s life-changing for them.”
Our Homeless Outreach Program is accepting donations of socks and hygiene items for our team to hand out to those living in homeless camps and on the streets. You can bring items to 1020 W. Market or purchase directly off our Amazon Wish List.