Homeless walk brings attention to services

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Although record-setting cold temperatures have been recorded at night in the last month, those running local shelters in the area are again trying to spread the word that there are warm places for people to stay who have nowhere else to go.

Representatives from a number of Youngstown area social service agencies gathered Monday and walked from the Saint Vincent DePaul Society downtown out to the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley.

The effort was meant to draw attention to the area’s Cold Weather Emergency Shelter Program.

The mission is to find homeless people and families places to stay at night and also includes the Youngstown health and police departments.

“We work with the police department so if they pick up anyone we will get them here. With the cold weather they don’t have the stringent rules they usually do, so we are able to get people here,” said Youngstown Health Commissioner Erin Bishop.

The Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley can accommodate nearly 200 people. Between December and March of last year the mission saw more than 4,700 bed stays where individuals and families spent at least one night there.

Anyone needing a warm place to sleep can call the Help Hotline Crisis Center at 211.

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