By WLKY Digital Team, Gladys Bautista
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (WLKY) — After a few setbacks, Louisville’s new outdoor safe space for the homeless in the city is getting ready to open.
Since it was envisioned last summer, city leaders have been working with advocates to bring the idea to life in an effort to help the homeless eventually find permanent homes.
The city teamed up with nonprofit The Hope Buss, which is working with the Office of Resilience and Community Services, to bring to fruition the Hope Village.
“Hope village is coming to fruition around us,” Office of Resilience and Community Services Homeless Services Division director Dr. Susan Buchino said. “By meeting people where they are, treating them with respect and dignity, and using the opportunity to extend assistance, foster trust and provide accompaniment while navigating a complex system.”
Located on College Street, the site will have 48 tents to house 53 eligible people. Mayor Greg Fischer said the village should be finished by March 31.
“The goal of this project is to provide a place for people who are not ready to seek indoor shelter can continue to live temporarily outdoors but in a safe environment with greater access to resources and services,” Mayor Greg Fischer said.
Louisville put forth $1.5 million to bring the Hope Village to life. The hope is that helping the homeless individuals will eventually get them into more permanent housing by providing them with resources and assistance.
Stachelle Bussey is the founder of The Hope Buss, which is the organization overseeing the project.
“The people we want to serve here are the people who are absolutely ready to be in transition and ready for the next step, whatever the next step is and it’s strictly referral based, it will come from different organizations,” Bussey said.
The village will be staffed 24/7 and there will also be showers and handwashing stations.
The different organizations like Feed Louisville, Dare to Care and BridgeHaven will also help provide resources from everyday food services to mental health services.
While the parking lot is transformed into a home, it will also serve as a way to help those in our community who need it the most.
“We can’t stop earthquakes, we can’t prevent droughts, we can’t prevent all conflict but when we know there are people that are hungry, the homeless, the sick exist, then we certainly can help them and that’s what we’re doing here at hope village,” Fischer said.
Officials plan on converting the building at the site into what they call “bridge housing” with units people moving through the housing process.
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