Unity in the Community holds up to its name

The nonprofit focuses on providing meals to the houseless population, but hopes to expand its services in the future.

A group of people in front of a horse statue holding up their hands in a "U" position.

The “U” hand symbol has become a beacon of unification for the group. | Photo courtesy of Unity in Community

When Jonathan Richardson lost his nephew over two years ago to a drug overdose, he saw a need for better support and resources for all Lexington’s populations. His desire to bring the community together led to the creation of Unity in the Community, a nonprofit focused on the message of togetherness.

We spoke with Richardson to talk about his work, what his average day looks like, and aspirations for the future of his nonprofit.

What inspired you to start Unity in the Community?

“This was all a culmination of things that happened to me personally and to people I’m close with,” said Richardson.

“I felt like there was a need for the community,” said Richardson. “Just like the name of [our] nonprofit, we need more unity in the United States — not just Lexington or Kentucky.”

How does a typical day look like for you?

Through a partnership with local Papa John’s franchisers, Richardson receives a weekly food donation to support his cause.

“I have about three or four volunteers now, so we typically meet in front of the [Old Courthouse],” Richardson said. “While we’re setting up, I’ll go round up as many people that are experiencing homelessness as I can... we typically feed 50-75 people every time we go downtown.”

Whatever is left over gets taken to The Hope Village.

A hand holding a blue bracelet that reads "Unity in the Community Inc"

“Some things you can’t put a price on, such as happiness, love, and friendship,” said Johnathan Richardson. | Photo courtesy of Unity in the Community

The future of Unity in the Community

Richardson doesn’t want to stop at just food. In fact, a recent partnership with Fabletics in the Summit is giving him the opportunity to provide people experiencing homeless with clothing.

How can Lexington support your efforts?

“Volunteers are one of the biggest things, and bringing awareness to the cause,” said Richardson.

He added that donations, sponsored events, and networking opportunities can help expand + support the organization’s efforts.

Anyone interested in supporting Unity in the Community can contact Richardson via email.