Valley Rescue Mission sees record numbers

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — With Friday’s frigid temperatures, hundreds of people in the Valley who don’t have a home were looking for a place to stay warm.

Last winter, the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley saw record numbers of people come in from the cold. Workers with the shelter expect the building will be packed with people once again.

With temperatures expected to hit below zero this weekend, the Rescue Mission in Youngstown is ready for those who need to get out of the cold.

“There’s definitely more people that come when the temperatures drop. We do see people that have been here before come back,” said Rescue Mission advisor Ian Zimora.

So many people, they’re expecting to run out of beds. That’s when they enter what’s called “emergency placement.”

“Put them in the chapel, there’s places we’ll put blankets and stuff down on the floor. Really, when it gets cold like this, we won’t turn anyone away,” said fellow advisor, Joe Cornell.

“If they’re hungry, we try to feed them. If they’re cold, we try to make them some coffee or hot chocolate. If they’re dirty or filthy, we have showers,” added Zimora.

Even if some people have been kicked out in the past for having drugs or alcohol in the building, the Rescue Mission will let them back in this weekend.

“We definitely don’t want to see anyone suffering out there in the cold. Definitely don’t want to see anyone or hear about anyone dying because of the cold temperatures, or freezing to death, so to speak,” said Zimora.

There is a lot of genuine love in this place. And it’s safe, especially for women and kids that don’t have a place to stay. If they want to come, it’s safe for them to bring their kids here,” added Cornell.

Remember: Storm Team 27 is forecasting wind chills from 20 to 30 below zero. So if you know someone who needs an emergency shelter, you can call 211 in Mahoning County or visit They have people available 24-7.


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