Need for missions rises as temperatures drop

WARREN – Area shelters were not severely impacted by the 15-degree overnight temperatures early New Year’s Day, but that will likely change as forecasters predict thermometers will dip below zero in coming days.

Chuck McCorkle, building manager at the Warren Family Mission, 361 Elm Road, said the Mission saw just two extra people come in for help because of the New Year’s Eve cold temperatures.

“Over the last couple days, we’ve averaged five to six people calling in to find out what is available,” McCorkle said. “That was only on my shift. There could have been more. I am expecting more people to come in.”

Youngstown meteorologist Don Guthrie with WKBN Channel 27, said low temperatures early next week will be well below averages for this time of year.

“The average high for this time of year is about 33 degrees and the low is about 20,” he said. “We will be seeing low temperatures of about 9 degrees on Friday, rising over the weekend and then temperatures as low as -9 degrees on Monday evening and – 2 degrees on Tuesday.”

McCorkle said about 26 people are now using the mission’s men’s shelter.

“We have room for another 40 people, so we’re encouraging people who have no place else to go to come in,” he said. “We only request that once you’re here, you have to remain sober. If you’re not sober now, we’ll get you sober.”

In Youngstown, the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley also remained under capacity.

Paulo Morris, a client advocate with the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley, 962 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., said they did not see an influx of people coming in over the last 24 hours.

“We have between 75 and 85 people in the men’s shelter,” Morris said. “That is about average. We have about 100 beds available, but we will not turn anyone away. We have extra cots available and we can place them.”

Morris, who has been with the Rescue Mission for about a year, says it already services the majority of the male homeless population in the Youngstown area.

“We occasionally get a few new people who may be traveling across the country,” Morris said. “I know the women’s and children’s also are near capacity, but it also will do everything possible to provide some kind of help.”

Eileen Pope, also with the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley, said the facility generally has 10 to 12 beds available for women and families. As of Wednesday, those beds were filling up fast, she said.

“There are a number of places families can go to get assistance, including Warren Family Mission, The Christy House and they can call Help Hotline,” Pope said.

A spokesman answering the phone at the Christy House on Wednesday said that home has been full since Monday night.