The ninth annual observance of World Homelessness Day is fast approaching. Thursday, Oct. 10, is a day of awareness and involvement for those who want to help individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

In early 2019, there were over 4,000 individuals experiencing homelessness in the state of Kentucky. Thirty of these individuals lived in the Gateway area.

Many factors can contribute to homelessness, including loss of income, medical emergency, family death, domestic violence, divorce, or being housing cost-burdened. There were 100,000 severely cost-burdened renting households in Kentucky in 2017, meaning that these households spent more than half of their income on rent. In rural areas where housing can be harder to find, this is a common occurrence, especially for those living in poverty.

Gateway House is committed to helping individuals and families experiencing homelessness find safe, secure, and affordable housing. Individuals interested in helping with Gateway’s mission can donate or volunteer with the Trick or Treat for Gateway House food drive. Volunteers are needed from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 28 and 30. For more information or to volunteer throughout the year, call 784-2668.

Founded in 1992, Gateway House is a 17-bed homeless shelter serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the Gateway Regional service area of Rowan, Bath, Morgan, Montgomery, and Menifee counties.

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