Low Barrier Shelter
How It Works
The Low Barrier Shelter is open 24 hours a day for dropping in to warm up, cool off, take a shower. A state-licensed Social Worker is on duty during most days and a state-licensed Adult Peer Support Specialist is on duty most nights. Transportation can be provided for homeless individuals to and from homeless camps or lodging locations when requested. Call 502-966-1888 for more information and/or transportation.
When not in Operation White Flag (extreme heat or cold), check-in for overnight lodging is 3 PM - 4:30 PM. Check-in times are flexible for 1st-time guests, people with jobs, medical appointments, AA meetings, etc. During Operation White Flag, check-in is available 24 hours per day. You do not have to be sober to check-in, you may be able to bring pets, couples will be lodged together (typically on a bunk bed), beds are in a dorm setting (a separate dorm section is provided for families), you cannot use drugs or alcohol on-premises, violence (verbal or physical) towards others is not allowed.
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.