In exchange for graciously appearing on the cover of this month’s issue, we offered each of our cover girls the opportunity to highlight a nonprofit that is close to their hearts. Debbie Jones chose to highlight this incredible Lexington organization.
On any typical day at Lexington’s New Life Day Center (NLDC), upwards of 100 homeless who formerly walked the streets and loitered in public facilities, take the opportunity to be out of the weather and off the street in this place of peaceful refuge. There is no other regular source for breakfast for homeless in the Lexington area, so each day the team serves fruit and pastries, preventing most homeless from going hungry in the mornings. Once inside the facility, homeless clients are guided towards pursuits that can lead to a more constructive life. Their priority goal is to be a “connecting point” to jobs and housing that enables them to get permanently off the street. NLDC has helped over 600 homeless into housing and jobs since opening in 2011.
In the last 36 months, they have helped over 315 homeless from the streets into permanent housing using a highly successful program that provides free rent deposit assistance (RDA) to homeless who have verifiable income, but cannot afford to front the initial rent deposit typically required by landlords. Over 75% of those housed have not relapsed back to the street. The program has led several homeless to find and keep full-time employment so that they would qualify for the deposit grant.
In 2016 New Life Day Center led the campaign for the City to reduce panhandling on the streets of Lexington. By providing them jobs, panhandlers on our streets have been reduced by over 80%. NLDC’s goal is to connect homeless panhandlers with other services that can help them move beyond these starter jobs and become permanently employed.
To help address spiritual needs, they hold two regular weekly Worship Services on-site for homeless clients. On average 20 homeless clients attend a free NLDC Medical Clinic on-site twice weekly with physicians, nurses, and mental health professionals providing free diagnostics, preventive type treatment, and medications. Their total client base (5,500 registered since 2011), now have access to preventative type care rather than crises care as was the norm in years past.
New Life Day Center is committed to continually evolving its programs through continuous improvement to work in partnership with the Lexington community to improve living conditions for homeless citizens at the “bottom of the pile.” Please visit their website at newlifedaycenter.org to learn more or to donate.