Homeless coalition expands with new building, new programs

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The Jessamine County Homeless Coalition hopes to have the expansion done by the end of the year

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Jessamine County Homeless Coalition (JCHC) announced an expansion that will almost triple the space available it has to serve and expand the services it offers to the community. While JCHC says it’s too early to compare numbers, it feels like the homeless population has increased in the last year.

Currently, JCHC says it can serve about 50 people but its current building doesn’t allow for much privacy between intake and the common dining space. JCHC says on average, it houses 26 people per night for around 23 days at a time. But by the end of the year, the homeless coalition is hoping that will change.

“Where people have stayed with us a little longer we’ve seen more of that need and some of those things that’s holding them back if you will,” says JCHC founder Johnny Templin.

Templin says he’s wanted to expand his organization for years but the pandemic halted progress. Some of the new services JCHC will be able to offer in the new building include a veteran program, a family ward for people with children and domestic violence program partnered with GreenHouse 17.

“We’ve always addressed those segments, but at the end of the day it’s always been one program so everybody being treated differently,” says Templin. “Since the beginning, we’ve been studying what those needs were, what that looks like.”

Templin says the new building could be ready to go as early as the day after Thanksgiving, which would be the exact same day the original building opened in 2016.

“It’s almost indescribable other than that this is a movement of God in our community, the support that’s always been here for us is a testament to that living calling in our area right now,” says Templin. “So, I’m extremely excited about what this looks like.”

Though a small shelter, JCHC has a success story sitting right at its front door. April McCubbins says she was homeless in Lexington for about 3 years, suffering with alcoholism. She came to JCHC with no drivers license, social security card or birth certificate, but she says they helped her turn her life around and get back on track.

“While I was here and I got sober and I figured out that there could be a life after that, then the hopeless and the miserable kind of started becoming hopeful and encouraging and happy, which I hadn’t been in a long time,” says McCubbins.

JCHC says whether it’s a short stay or something more long-term, it wants to help people get to the root of a problem and truly change their life.

All of the new building plans and new programs will require $400,000. JCHC is fundraising and accepting volunteers through its website linked HERE.

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