When our operations manager, Austin Raderer, notified Ursuline President Jean Anne Zappa on September 13 that he had received an email from Todd Abell about finding the historical marker for the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville’s first home at Shelby and Chestnut Streets in Louisville, Sister Jean Anne was simultaneously surprised that the marker was missing and relieved that he had contacted us. Todd found the marker abandoned behind a Goodwill store on East Broadway Street.
Here are Todd’s words of what transpired:
“I have served the homeless on Sunday afternoons for the past 5 years. I volunteer for Louisville Outreach for the Unsheltered. We have approximately 30 volunteers who do various things. We rely on donations. Some donate their money—others donate their time. We serve sack lunches and water on Sundays. We also give the unsheltered socks, clothes, shoes, tents, sleeping bags, blankets, hygiene products, batteries, flashlights etc.
My contribution is that I drive a specific route. I go to many of the homeless camps and talk to them and give them whatever I have that day. I was serving one of my camps when I noticed the sign. I asked the people I was serving how it got there and what the intention was for the sign. They explained it had been there for a while and they didn’t want it there. They didn’t want the city to have a reason for clearing their camp. They wanted me to help them to remove it and helped me put it in my vehicle.
I would like to add that most of our homeless are good at heart. Many have substance abuse issues and/or mental illness. I consider them my friends and only want them to know they are loved.”
Sister Jean Anne also contacted our Metro Councilman, Bill Hollander, who was very responsive and has been instrumental in putting the wheels in motion to get the sign repaired and reinstalled. The Kentucky Historical Society will soon have the sign back in its proper location at Shelby and Chestnut. We are so thankful to everyone who stepped up to help preserve our history that started in 1858 at this location, and the grace of everyone working together.
If you are interested in donating or volunteering with LOU, you can visit their website:
https://www.lououtreach.org/about or call (502) 754-3464.