Mobile unit opens to support Louisville’s homeless community
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Louisville Recovery Community Connection, Kentucky Harm Reduction, and the University of Louisville are taking a holistic approach to help Louisville’s homeless community by creating a visible welcoming space in the heart of the city that is not hidden away.
A new mobile clinic set up on Friday to help increase access to addiction treatment in the city. Showers, free haircuts, massages, vaccinations, testing, and connections to health services are all available in the unit.
Ali Gautier helped distribute hygiene kits and food on Friday. She said that no one she ever meets fits into a box or stereotype of what it means to be homeless.
“We show up for those people because they would show up for us if they had the same resources,” Gautier said.
Austin Hale said he was able to stand on the opposite side of the handout table and help at the unit on Friday through a series of miracles. He said that it the first time he has been able to give back; he’s been clean for six months and two days.
“I’m a recovering drug addict I’ve lived on the streets before,” Hale said. “I really thought that was how life was going to play out for me. … I was very isolated in my addiction.”
Telly Harris is a member of the Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition. He said he was temporarily homeless and that he wants to restore balance after the recent displacement of homeless camps in Louisville.
“You hear their stories how they were impacted mentally, physically, emotionally,” Harris said. “To see the city move some of the individuals and products that have memories I couldn’t imagine that for myself.”
Hale said he thought he was trapped in a cycle until he decided to break free.
“It’s up to us to lead by example,” Hale said. “You know what I mean? If I’ve been where you’ve been and I’m here, now my goal is to maybe help inspire someone.”
According to Hale, he is proof that there are resources and compassionate people willing to help if others accept them.
The mobile units will head out into the community five days a week.
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