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St. John Center creates new transitional housing for Louisville homeless

St.+John+Center+is+a+non-profit+that+helps+Louisvilles+homeless+population.+Its+current+offices+are+shown+above.+
Navarre Baharestan
St. John Center is a non-profit that helps Louisville’s homeless population. Its current offices are shown above.

The homelessness crisis is an extreme issue in every part of Louisville. For example, in 2021, The Coalition for the Homeless observed a 41% climb in Louisville’s homelessness; the issue skyrocketed from 7,572 homeless individuals in 2018 to 10,640 in 2021. According to a more recent report, more than 11,000 homeless individuals were forced to seek shelter, food and other necessities from the city’s support networks in 2022. 

These two reports are just a few of the hundreds that continue to raise the alarm about homelessness in Louisville. As a result, Kentucky has recently begun to prioritize implementing multiple long-term solutions to the homelessness crisis. One notable solution is Louisville’s St. John Center, a non-profit that supports the homeless. 

Since 1986, St. John’s has been tirelessly working to provide resources and services to those experiencing chronic homelessness in Louisville. Whether that is providing someone with something as simple as a toothbrush or as vital as helping to set someone up for a job interview, St. John Center’s goal is to get homeless people back on their feet in any way possible. 

Currently, St. John Center is in the process of building a new housing site with single-bed units to support the city’s chronically homeless. While their homeless shelters provide relief for their residents for 4-5 months, the new transitional housing is focused on long term housing for the chronically homeless.

“Getting people off the streets is a big improvement. You don’t have to sleep outside, but you’re still homeless,” Natalie Harris, the Executive Director of the Louisville Coalition of the Homeless, said. 

The new center is unlike any other homeless shelter in Louisville, with 80 of these single-bed supportive housing rooms. Additionally, this new housing center will have a large amount of open space where other homelessness agencies can create areas for the residents to recreate and bond with one another. Also, the homeless community there can begin to get back on their feet by providing job interviews and life workshops with the end goal of getting these people out of the homeless population as soon as possible.  

Behind the scenes, this new center has countless staff members and volunteers working to make the most out of the implementation of this center. One of those essential members is Harris. She explained that current funding for St. John Center’s new transitional housing comes from the Coalition. Harris says that when trying to support those with lower incomes, the project becomes more and more intricate. 

“I definitely can hear from the community in my job, there is lots of concern with visible homelessness in the city,” Harris said. She continued to convey that her personal goal is to decrease the homeless population in the future.

Along with the Coalition of the Homeless, Louisville has begun to continue to combat homelessness with positive efforts. Through the new Center for the Chronically Homeless, Louisville’s homeless population will fade away and begin to be able to work and pay for their own housing. However, the Coalition can’t help the city’s homeless population alone. 

“We hope we can get some help from you guys and get some volunteers,” Harris said. By conjoining the community, the city and outside organizations, Harris believes the homelessness crisis in Louisville can be dealt with in a healthy, affordable, and efficient manner. 

To join the cause, follow this link to volunteer for the Coalition of the Homeless.

About the Contributors
Liv Ashley, Staffer
Liv Ashley is a staffer for Manual RedEye. You can contact her at [email protected].
Navarre Baharestan is a staffer on RedEye. He enjoys listening to Pop or Country music and singing. Navarre enjoys to write about social and economic issues and how we can help the community around us. You can contact him at [email protected].
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