LEXINGTON, NE — Help is on the way for homeless people in Dawson County.

Crossroads Mission Avenue bought a building on the west side of town and is starting fundraising efforts to turn it into a homeless shelter. Executive Director Daniel Buller says the non-profit already offers 225 beds across the Tri-Cities, making Lexington an obvious next step.

“We do see people coming from Dawson County and the surrounding area that are seeking homeless shelter services either at our Kearney, Grand Island or Hastings facilities,” Buller said.

Buller says there’s more need than ever for homeless shelter services. Crossroads had nearly 1,000 people live at its facilities at some point last year, and has seen a 50 percent increase this year.

“(A shelter allows) someone to get on their feet, save some money up, overcome some addiction issues, maybe get stable mentally," Buller said. "Whatever they’re needing to address in their life, that gives them a place to stay and work on those issues.”

Crossroads hopes to raise just over $1.4 million to renovate the former daycare facility. Eventually, it will house 11 efficiency apartments and offices. Buller says the Crossroads board of directors is all in on the project.

“They wanted to lead the way to Lexington, serving this community," Buller said. "Together, they pooled $80,000 to open our campaign and be able to encourage the community and individuals to come and to give to this project.”

Crossroads plans to open a thrift shop at the new location in January and will continue to operate its monthly mobile food pantry. Buller hopes to start renovations in January of 2024.