Politics & Government

Lexington mayor to launch commission on homelessness

Mayor Jim Gray will appoint a commission on homelessness, asking it to examine issues surrounding Lexington's homeless population and recommend changes.

Gray said the community has a record of reaching out to help people needing shelter, with efforts such as the Hope Center, the Salvation Army and MASH. But homelessness is a complex issue. "It's clear we need to step back and take stock, to examine long-term challenges," he said in a prepared statement.

Timing of establishing a commission was prompted by a number of recent reports related to homelessness, including concerns raised about Messner's Boarding House, the impact of downtown feeding programs on Phoenix Park and its neighbors, the overcrowding of shelters, and issues related to the operation of The Community Inn.

The mayor said he wants the commission to hear from homeless advocates, as well as neighbors, businesses and schools that operate near homeless shelters, from public safety officials, veterans groups and homeless people themselves. Commission members will be appointed by June 1. Anyone interested in serving mayh contact Gray's office at 258-3100.

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