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. 

community action council melissa tibbs
Community Voices Stories: Community Action Council
Community Action Council (CAC) is a private, nonprofit organization that works to address the causes and conditions of poverty locally.
Community Voices Stories: New Vista 
"The 'cold' data on homelessness show us that it costs significantly less, to all of our systems, to house a person and provide services to them than it does to do nothing. Because doing nothing costs a lot." - Dylan Schell
Community Voices Stories: Lexington Rescue Mission 
“I want people to understand that we’re not just a soup kitchen, we’re really trying to get to the root of the issues, trying to break those cycles, and trying to help people move forward.” - Laura Carr
Community Voices Stories: Mountain Comprehensive Care Center
“Mountain Comprehensive Care helped me get back to living life on life’s terms. I don’t have to worry about where I’m going to sleep anymore.” - Cecil Bowling
Community Voices Stories: Natalie’s Sisters
“Trying to find housing is like pulling teeth. Every time I walked into a complex to apply, it felt like they were judging me and making assumptions just because they could tell I was homeless.” - anonymous Sister
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.
 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.
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.
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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.