Hip Hop Cares helps houseless for the 397th consecutive week

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — While many are using Labor Day to spend the long weekend with family or enjoying the time away from work, one group isn’t taking a break. Instead, they are helping give back to one of Louisville’s more vulnerable populations.

Hip Hop Cares never takes a weekend off to help those most in need. 

What You Need To Know

  •  Hip Hop Cares has been giving out food, clothes, toiletries and more to those experiencing homelessness for nearly eight years
  •  Jeff Gill, founder of Hip Hop Cares, said he wants everyone to feel like they are loved
  • Based on the city’s housing needs assessment, Louisville is facing a shortage of over 31,000 affordable housing units
  • Hip Hop Cares is looking for donations and volunteers every week 

Every Sunday, no matter what, Jeff Gill is under the I-65 overpass on Broadway, helping people who are experiencing homelessness.

“Well, I don’t really pay attention to holidays and birthdays and hot, cold, rain, snow. We’ve been out here in every element when the whole world said, ‘Shut down and stay inside.’ We were still out here serving because the people on the streets are still out here,” said Gill, founder of Hip Hop Cares. 

This is his 397th consecutive Sunday here. With the help of volunteers, Hip Hop Cares is giving out clothing, toiletries and food to show that people who are houseless are loved.

“One of the main reasons people give up on life is because they don’t feel like they have hope. So, any space that can be created that offers people hope, I believe is important. And I believe that that’s what this space is about,” he said. 

Gill said he never thought he would be doing this eight years ago, but the issue of homlessness became personal for Gill. 

“My father actually passed away houseless on the streets, and I never met him. He passed away shortly before I was able to find that he had done so; that kind of stuck with me,” he said. 

And while he’s made it his mission to help, Gill said that just passing out supplies isn’t a long-term solution.

He said the lack of affordable housing and inflation are causing homelessness to skyrocket.

“It’s a much larger issue. It starts with the cost of living within our city and the average rent of a one-bedroom apartment compared to the average pay of people in our city,” Gill said. 

According to the city’s housing needs assessment, Louisville is facing a shortage of over 31,000 affordable housing units for families earning up to 30% of the area median income (AMI)..

While this issue cannot be solved overnight, Gill said, people can start to turn things around today by spreading kindness to everyone around you.

“Please be nice. You’ll have a million opportunities a day to pick somebody apart and talk down on somebody; but, you only need one reason to be nice. So use that one reason to get you through today,” he said. 

He said that by reaching out to local leaders and demanding more resources, people can show just how much the they care for those most in need.

There are no sign-ups to volunteer with Hip Hop Cares. Those who want to help only need to show up to the overpass between 1st and Brook Streets. The organization is accepting donations for in-season adult clothing, bedding, fruits and bottled water.

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