September 22, 2018
Homeless in Louisa?
LOUISA, KY. — There has been a noticeable problem with homeless living outside in town such as under the bridge down by the river, railroad tracks and in some public park areas.
“We have noticed an uptake in homeless people around Louisa,” Louisa mayor Harold Slone told The Lazer.
Slone said he has has spoken with some of the homeless personally about their situation. He did not say what he found out.
Mayoral challenger Eddie Wayne Michael said he is hearing a lot of complaints about the apparently homeless people sleeping in the city park. “I’ve heard people say they are pitching tents on the riverbank and around the parks,” Michael said. “It is definitely something that needs to be addressed and soon.”
Police Chief Greg Fugitt and Council member Matt Brown have contacted some surrounding area agencies and have dates planned to visit with some of those to see how they are handling the situation, Fugitt said.
Huntington City Mission and Pikeville are just a couple. Then they intend to share that information with the community, Mayor Slone said.
“This just isn’t a city issue, it’s an issue that affects everyone and it looks like small towns across Appalachia are getting worse,” Slone said. “The closest shelters are in Ashland, KY or Huntington, WV.”
So far the only complaints to the police have been when they overuse public spaces such as the Louisa parks. There was evidence of make shift camp sites along the river banks and under the bridge.
–According to a source who asked not to be identified there have been two minor teenage girls living under the bridge on the Ft. Gay side, that are/were prostituting themselves to survive.
Tina Jackson, of Louisa, has noticed a “tent city” of homeless people located near her home, she said in a Facebook post this week. Trash, she says, is being left by the railroad tracks including used needles.
When asked if there was something being done, Louisa Council member and ARC executive Matt Brown responded that, “Homelessness is becoming more of an issue throughout Eastern Kentucky.”
Brown said he is in the process of touring a few homeless shelters to determine what could possibly work in Louisa.
“This is a serious issue we plan to address with strategic thinking, innovation, partnerships, compassion and dignity.” He plans to keep the progress of this situation updated on his Facebook page.
Pastor Daniel Castle and Ron Dye are both working towards providing a homeless shelter with the help of God and the community.
We hope this raises awareness throughout Lawrence County and surrounding areas of the problem and need for solutions..