Georgetown church helps raise funds for new emergency shelter

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GEORGETOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Scott County church is helping raise money for a new emergency shelter and anyone seeking assistance from The Gathering Place would benefit from the facility.

Right now, an empty space sits at the end of Bourbon Street, but within the year it could be turned into an emergency shelter — which is Heather Johnson, with The Gathering Place’s, goal. For several years, the organization has helped countless men, women, and children from all walks of life.

As the Scott County population grows, so does the need for a bigger space and funding to house more people in need.

“We have steady influx of people who are seeking shelter and refuge and a safe place to sleep and I believe it’s our duty, it’s a privilege to offer that to everybody in Georgetown,” said Johnson. “Without things do like this [fundraisers] we won’t be able to help another 32 people off the streets. Every penny counts, every dollar counts and tonight hopefully, we’ll raise a little bit more than that.”

It’s goal is to raise up to $500,000 with the help of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. For it’s sixth year, the church is hosting it’s annual Boots ‘n Pearls fundraiser while highlighting the non-profit this year to help raise funds for the future shelter.

The event offered a live band to dance too, a delicious dinner and several baskets to raffle off and win.

“Scott County has got a lot of homeless people and they’ve got no shelters. So it’s very important that we provide something for our community as an outreach,” explains Donna Whorley, who’s also with The Gathering Place.

“I don’t want anybody to have to sleep in their car or on the street or wonder where they’re going to lay their head at night,” explains Johnson.

The new shelter will provide a warm bed for 32 people every night. The shelter will also provide a filling meal, a washer and dryer for laundry, and access to a shower. Johnson says case management will also be top priority. She says, “Which just means we’ll seek to find ways to help people who aren’t a part of our long term shelter.”

Additionally, it gives people a safe space during severe storms.

Johnson puts into perspective, “The building we’re hoping to construct should be sturdy. We’re hoping it’s going to be block and a very safe shelter for all involved. So when they lay their heads down at night, or during the day, or they need to come in for a refuge, there’s not going to be a worry that they’re gonna have to hold on to.”

Johnson says the goal is to open the shelter doors by the end of this year, but the latest would be December 2025.

“Everybody has value and the people we drive by everyday are people that we should see as people. Not just a fixture at the side of the road, or somebody sleeping on a bench, or turn our heads when we know families are doubling up and out of space,” says Johnson.

If you couldn’t attend Saturday night’s fundraiser, you can still donate money on The Gathering Place Mission’s website at

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