Rick Whitley: A Guiding Light in the Shadows, The Lighthouse for Magoffin’s Hope

Unexpected Turning Point

One Saturday afternoon, Rick Whitley made a routine visit to his neighborhood grocery store to procure the necessary items for the evening’s dinner. In a departure from the countless uneventful trips he had made to this establishment, an unforeseen occurrence transpired on this particular day, setting in motion a pivotal change in Rick’s life.

As Rick strolled back to his car after completing his shopping, he was unexpectedly intercepted by a couple of individuals facing dire circumstances. These strangers approached Rick, humbly requesting assistance with a plea for some financial aid to procure food. Inquisitive, Rick delved further into their situation and learned that these individuals were currently grappling with homelessness.

Rick assisted the individuals and made his way across the street to another store. One must assume that while on the drive, Rick would have been contemplating the interaction he had just experienced.
To Rick’s surprise, upon reaching the other store, he was once again confronted by a couple of individuals in need. Again, these individuals informed him that they currently find themselves in a homeless situation and would appreciate any assistance that he would be able to offer them.

Compassion in the Shadows

After assisting the second group of individuals, Rick made a decision, “Man, that’s a lot of homeless people. And so I started checking on it and decided I would try to help the homeless, if I could.” This marked the beginning of Rick’s commitment to addressing homelessness in the Magoffin Community.

Rick shares with Magoffin News Network that, as per the Community Action Program, there exist 30-60 homeless individuals in Magoffin County at any given time. Driven by a determination to make a positive impact, Rick, along with like-minded individuals, collaborated to establish a 501 C3 Non-Profit, The Lighthouse Homeless Shelter.

Rick Whitley filing The Lighthouse Homeless Shelter Articles of Incorporation in Magoffin County, KY.

A Commitment Ignited

Commencing with a modest initiative, Rick’s primary focus is to create locations where those in need can access hot meals at no cost. Alongside a dedicated team of volunteers and with support from the Magoffin County Rescue Squad, Rick ensures the preparation and delivery of meals to the homeless population in Magoffin weekly.
Despite starting on a small scale, the Lighthouse Homeless Shelter aspires to grow. Through community donations and collaboration with Hope of the Mountains, which provides free counseling, Lighthouse aims to acquire its first warming center within the city limits. Rick and the Lighthouse team have been informed that once they achieve self-sustainability, the elected officials of Magoffin County will aid in securing a grant for a permanent structure.

Illuminating Hope

In the face of unexpected encounters and unforeseen challenges, individuals like Rick Whitley inspire change through compassion and action. Their commitment to addressing societal issues not only transforms lives but also serves as a beacon of hope, casting a guiding light on the path toward compassion and positive change. Just as a lighthouse stands firm, cutting through the darkness to guide ships safely to shore. As we reflect on stories like Rick’s, may it inspire each of us to find ways, big or small, to contribute positively to the well-being of those around us and, in doing so, foster a more empathetic and interconnected world.

To contribute to The Lighthouse Homeless Shelter, kindly make checks payable to The Lighthouse Homeless Shelter and send them to Citizens Bank of Kentucky at 620 Broadway St, Paintsville, KY 41240. Your donations are fully tax-deductible.

Follow The Lighthouse Homeless Shelter at

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