Homelessness can happen to anyone

Homelessness isn’t a disease or an affliction. It’s an inability to pay rent or make the mortgage. There are many, uncontrollable reasons why that happens.

Real Life Stories & Articles About Homelessness

At Lex End Homelessness (LEH), we believe that ending homelessness begins with listening and should be data driven. To help increase understanding of homelessness, we’re writing evidence-based articles and collaborating with partners and community members to collect “Lived Experience” stories.

The LEH “Lived Experience” stories project is an opportunity to share personal accounts of what it is like to experience homelessness in our community. The hope is that these interview-style stories will empower and inspire all of us in the Lexington community to learn more and join the Lex End Homelessness movement. 

A Conversation with James Henderson from Recovery Café Lexington
“A lot of the processes to get out the hole are just maddening. I love this place here [Recovery Café], but it’s still hard to get back on your feet.” – James Henderson
A Conversation with Cathy Baker & Chastity Griffin from Recovery Café Lexington
“The thing about Recovery Café is it is a space of love. That’s what’s so special about this place” – Chastity Griffin
Cherron Harris, Eastern State Hospital
Cherron Harris works at Eastern State Hospital, a recovery-focused, mental health services hospital located in Lexington, Kentucky that provides individualized inpatient acute care. ESH is part of the University of Kentuky’s UK Healthcare System and is a Lex End Homelessness Continuum of Care member. Below, Cherron tells us about her role at the hospital and about the work her and her colleagues do to support patients facing both mental health issues and homelessness.
Phil Gray, Foundation for Affordable Housing
We recently got the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with Phil Gray, president of the Foundation for Affordable Housing, a Lex End Homelessness Continuum of Care partner. The Foundation has run the St. James Place apartments, housing for the working homeless, since 1995 and St. James Place II, a transitional housing program for previously homeless veterans, since 2006.
Street Outreach Stories: Dustin Louthen & Jason DeZarn
We recently had the pleasure of talking with Dustin Louthen and Jason DeZarn, street outreach partners who work together at the Hope Center, about the street outreach work they do in our community. From the moment you meet and start talking to these two, it becomes clear just how passionate they are about what they do and also how genuinely good at it they are.
Preparing for the Winter Months Ahead: Our Emergency Winter Weather Plan
In cold weather, people experiencing unsheltered homelessness are particularly vulnerable to serious and potentially fatal illnesses and injury. As we approach these colder months, the Lexington-Fayette County Homeless Response System puts together an emergency winter weather response plan to ensure that all community members, regardless of housing, have access to shelter and the appropriate resources.
Street Outreach: A Person-Centered Approach to Ending Homelessness
At Lex End Homelessness (LEH), we believe that safe, stable, and affordable housing is the solution to ending and preventing homelessness. We follow a Housing First model, which means that we believe that people do not have to meet any stipulation or precondition to be considered “housing ready.”
 Introducing Jeff Herron
This past August, Jeff Herron joined the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government’s Office as the Director of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention (OHPI). However, this isn’t Jeff’s first time working in homelessness intervention or prevention or even with the OHPI.
Kearney Ridge Groundbreaking
This past spring, local developers broke ground on the new Kearney Ridge apartment complex, which is among some of the newest affordable housing units going up in Lexington. As we move into the fall, progress is coming along nicely, folks are already applying for housing, and units should be ready for leasing come next spring.
Messner Home Story
At the end of July, the Messner Home in Lexington suddenly closed, leaving 24 men who had been living there in need of housing. New Beginnings & New Vista were key Lex End Homelessness partners in getting 100% of the affected individuals rehoused.
Introducing Marissa Webb
Marissa Webb joined the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government’s Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention (OHPI) as the Continuum of Care (CoC) Coordinator in April of 2022. Since taking on this role, she’s brought her skills, experience, and passion into her work with the CoC and larger Lexington community.
What is Homelessness?
Ending homelessness begins by understanding what it is. It isn’t a disease or an affliction, it is an inability to pay rent or make the mortgage due to a lack of structural support.
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Life is full of unknowns, and many of those experiencing homelessness are there because of an unexpected life event. There are many, uncontrollable reasons why that happens. Watch to learn more.