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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- The only men's shelter in town has expanded to meet the growing homeless population. Now the shelter needs your vote to help even more people.
The Open Door of Hope Men's Shelter's efforts to fight homelessness have caught the attention of Toyota. Now the shelter is in the running for a new car.
Keith Riggle, who is homeless, explains that he, "Lost everything I had about a year ago and I've been struggling since." He's bounced around from shelter to shelter, until he walked into the Open Door of Hope three weeks ago. "This is a lot more like a home and the guys here really care about you," he says.
Riggle is one of more than a dozen men staying at the shelter on 8th Street in Shelbyville. Pastor Lee Bean of the Open Door of Hope says, "This is our shelter downstairs for overnight, so we can take up to 12 men."
Pastor Bean and others at Dover Baptist Church came up with the idea of a shelter in Shelbyville after several men were calling the church, needing a place to stay. When WDRB's Jennifer Baileys asked how bad the homeless problem is in Louisville, Pastor Bean replied, "Well, it is a little different than some of the larger cities. We get a lot of guys that come out of jail, and so they have to have somewhere to go, especially if they're on probation or parole. So we work out real well for them because they can use our address and we can actually drug test and breathalyzer for them and keep them accountable for their parole."
The shelter first opened in 2009 inside an old building on Henry Clay Street in downtown Shelbyville. At that time they only had about five or six beds. Now they can sleep eight.
It is more than just a house, it's a shelter, and that's a big expense. How do you afford something like that? Pastor Bean replies, "We accept private donations, and that's how it's done."
Pastor Bean says Toyota picked Open Door of Hope out of 50,000 other organizations to be one of 500 up for 100 new cars. It's a Facebook contest and if the shelter gets the most "likes" at the end of the day Saturday they'll get a new Prius.
Pastor Bean says the facility takes care of, "Job interviews and then when they get employed we take them to the job site and so we do a lot of transporting people around."
Riggle says, "Good things are happening. You know I've never felt better about where I"m going in life as I do now."
If you would like to vote for Open Door of Hope, click here: