The transformation of a well-known Lexington provider of services to the homeless is officially complete.
Government, business, church, and volunteer representatives participated Wednesday in the ribbon-cutting for the new Catholic Action Center.
The Catholic Action Center Choir, comprised of several homeless guests who reside at the Industry Road complex, helped open the dedication with song.
Chaplain Laura Babbage, in whose name the center now carries, emceed the event. “Our center provides new beginnings for so many who have arrived at what is affectionately called the last house on the block,” said Babbage
Catholic Action Center Co-Founder Ginny Ramsey is particularly proud of the non-stop services now available. “To be able to stand here and say yeah, we’re open 24/7. And when people call and say when can somebody come by. 'Anytime.' 'We’re there',” said Ramsey.
Upwards of 120 people can sleep, eat, receive needed services, and rest in their own on-site park.
Christy Dill has been homeless for two years. She spoke of her ability to help others find permanent housing. “Cause that’s what we care about. We care about getting them homes and hope that they’re not gonna be in here all the time for the rest of their life. We feel that, we want them out,” Dill said. “This is just temporary.”
Fifth District Councilman Bill Farmer told those gathered he represents the occupants of the new center.
“There’s such a tendency in life today to lead a jaded life, that’s detached, where everything happens on TV. You can compartmentalize that and walk away and it doesn’t hurt you. It’s not part of what happens to you,” said Farmer. “Everything happens here, happens to these people right here. It’s real.”
The Catholic Action Center formerly operated an overnight shelter, the Community Inn, just down the road and provided services at a Fifth Street location.
The Catholic organization bought the former government building for the new Center and the city purchased the old site on Fifth Street.