Low Barrier Shelter

After extensive interviewing of many individuals living on the streets and in the camps of Louisville, Wayside Christian Mission opened the city’s first Low Barrier Shelter on Christmas Eve, 2018. 

 This 100-bed shelter was designed to address the four most frequent barriers to people seeking shelter:

  • Couples without children who do not want to be separated in the shelter

  • Individuals who do not want to give up their pets to come into the shelter

  • Individuals who are intoxicated on alcohol or drugs, excluding them from entry into shelters

  • Individuals who have been barred from shelters in the past due to behavioral issues.

Wayside Christian Mission’s Low Barrier Shelter, which we call the Wayside Rescue Station, accommodates all these folks, as long as they follow a few simple rules:

  • No drugs or alcohol on the premises

  • No fighting on the premises

  • No smoking inside the shelter

  • People must take care of their pets.


The Low Barrier Shelter typically runs about 45 % single women, 26 % single men, and 30% family members. 


It is funded in large part by Metro Louisville’s Homeless Initiative special funding. 


The facility provides safe lodging, three meals a day plus snacks, security, and case management. 


Folks in the Low Barrier Shelter are transferred into the Men’s, Women’s, or Family Emergency Shelters when space opens up, as long as the folks are behaving appropriately (not using drugs and able to follow the rules). 

Volunteers are welcomed in the Low Barrier Shelter, along with outreach workers from the community.  Wayside also provides case management with the goal of helping these folks improve their quality of life.