Mayor Jim Gray has tapped a former United Way of the Bluegrass and Kentucky Housing Corp. employee to head Lexington’s Office of Homeless Prevention and Intervention.
Polly Ruddick will be the city’s second director of the office that was created in 2014 to help address homelessness in Lexington. Ruddick replaces Charles Lanter, who was recently promoted to the city’s director of grants and special programs.
Ruddick most recently served as the director of operations for 2-1-1, a United Way call center that connects people with services such as food, housing, health, senior services and more. Ruddick has also worked as research analyst with Kentucky Housing Corp. and facility manager at the Kentucky River Foothills Community Action Partnership. Ruddick received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University.
Under Lanter, the office coordinated services for the homeless, took over management of federal homelessness funding and spear-headed efforts to tackle chronic homelessness and family homelessness. Lanter recently received a University of Kentucky Sullivan Medallion, one of the university’s highest honors for humanitarian efforts.
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“Since establishing this office in 2014, our city has made real progress in helping citizens who were homeless find suitable housing. We have also addressed some key concerns, including how to best help those who are mentally ill, establishment of a shelter for homeless families, and establishing a ‘housing first’ approach,” Gray said. “But we’ve still got plenty of work to do. Polly has the skills to help us continue to move forward.”