Does the homeless problem still exist in Louisa?
After following up with several of the individuals who have taken the time to address their interest and concerns for the homeless community, this is what we have found.
Louisa Mayor Harold Slone, council member Matt Brown, Police Chief Greg Fugitt and Kelli Fugitt along with judge/exec. elect Phil Carter have all participated in visiting the local homeless population here in Louisa and surrounding cities including The Huntington City Mission Point of Hope to see what would be necessary to start one here if needed.
Louisa resident Tina Jackson who commented in our original story about homeless people living on the river bank near her home, said that “Harold Slone and Phil Carter came down near where “tent city” was close to.” She said she is confident they are doing their best to find a solution.
As for now, Mayor Slone made this comment, “I’m going to have Greg (Chief Fugitt) confirm…. but as far as I know I’m not sure we have any homeless at this time…. I believe the ones that I knew have found a place …. I don’t think the numbers were ever what some believed they were… they moved around a lot, so it seemed like more … but I went and talked to almost all of them and it was very very few actually homeless….”.
Julie Patel, owner of The Budget Inn Express in Louisa said that the homeless have in fact been coming to her hotel when they get their welfare checks and she is trying to do her part in helping by offering them discounts. In some cases, allowing them to stay a day or two for free to find a more permanent solution.
And she has at least one elderly couple who stay on credit and pay as they can. So, they can afford their medicine. Whenever there are any problems, she can always count on Chief Fuggit and his wife Kelly for their assistance. “Chief Fuggitt helps with any problems such as refusal to leave or damage done to property and his wife Kelli has brought enough food to help feed approximately 18 people,” she said.
But there are also reports that there are homeless people living in abandoned barns in Blaine, Ky. This problem is concerning for all parts of Lawrence County.
Where else are the homeless staying?
Several sources tell us near 302 Water Street is another location they have been loitering in. The police have been patrolling the area and watching the community. But so far, the only criminal behavior has been breaking into businesses and finding some of the stolen items back in Main Street Park behind the stage.
Chief Fugitt could not be reached for further comment.