YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Last week, the federal government put out a report saying the number of homeless people has decreased around Ohio.
But that same report says these numbers do not align with Youngstown.
Those that help the homeless and people living poverty say they’re seeing more need than ever before.
A closer look at numbers from the federal government show that’s true.
Annual surveys show the number of homeless in the Mahoning and Trumbull areas have gone up.
After his service, Afghan War Veteran Robert Eckhard suffered from PTSD and diabetes. After having several toes amputated, he was unable to work as an electrician.
“Homelessness is not having a place you call your own. If you are crashing on someone’s couch, you’re homeless,” said Eckhard. “When I got out of the hospital, I had nowhere to go, nowhere to turn.”
Dominic Marrari, of the Warren Family Mission, said that the increase of the amount of homeless people is noticeable.
“You see that need steadily climbing, especially in Trumbull County. If you take a drive down East Market [Street], you can always see someone with a backpack, and you kind of see indications that they are homeless,” he said.
John Muckridge, of the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley, said children need more help.
“We were looking at the numbers. In 2010, we had eight kids staying with us per average per night,” he said. “And then in 2017, that number jumped up to 15 kids per night.”
On cold nights, the number of children needing shelter can jump to 25 kids or more.