The Bob W. Brown House accepted its first residents in the summer of 1975 and was formally dedicated a year later. Begun as the Lexington Housing for the Handicapped, it was renamed in honor of Bob W. Brown after his untimely death in 1980. Bob W. Brown was pastor of the Trinity Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. Brown was a pioneer in leading his church to begin programs for many segments of society neglected by churches in the late 1950’s and 60’s. Trinity ministered to the deaf, the blind and mentally handicapped adults and children. From this ministry to the blind Brown befriended several elderly people that lived in inadequate, unsafe housing. It was the day that he visited one of his favorite blind women and she told him that her nephew had stolen all of her money again that he knew he had to do something to help.
He shared his vision of a safe, affordable home where people with all kinds of challenges could live together as family. This small group of individuals became the moving force behind a project which was to become the only facility of its kind in the country, fully paid and built solely with private funds. Today, it represents an investment of more than a half million dollars by caring and compassionate people. The home still operates fully on donations and contributions by individuals, churches and other organizations.
Rev. Brown preached, taught and most importantly, lived by example, Matthew 25:34-40. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Bob W. Brown was a man who touched “the least of these” his entire life. And so it was that this theme had a hand in making the Bob W. Brown House a reality, from large contributors in money, land and materials, to smaller, but equally important, contributions of a few dollars or a few hours of volunteer time. Many local businesses and professional people donated hundreds of hours of time and expertise to this project. Since 1975, the Bob Brown House stands as a testament to this man, his vision, and proof that we each can make a difference.
The Bob Brown House Today!
Today the Bob Brown House serves has a capacity of 14 but plans are currently underway to add facilities for 24 additional residents for a total of 38!
Residents of the Bob W. Brown House must have a physical and/or mental disability, but are independent enough to bathe, dress and feed themselves and can care for their own general well being. The oldest resident is past 80…the youngest, less than 30… some are blind, others have mental handicaps…A few are hearing impaired, the remainder have other physical disabilities.
Each resident of the Bob W. Brown House has his/her own room, but residents share meals together three times a day and come together frequently for many other activities. They are part of the family that includes not only the residents, but also the staff and the board of directors and the other volunteers as well. New residents, board members and volunteers are quickly adopted as full-fledged members of this very unique family.