YWCA housing for homeless families to open

WARREN – Women in transition who have families and need housing while trying to get on their feet will be able to use one of a dozen one-, two-, or three-bedroom units at the Trumbull YWCA in downtown Warren.

The YWCA, working with Huntington Bank, Ohio Finance Housing Agency, the Beatitude House and others, held a ribbon-cutting Thursday for Women Inspiring Nurturing and Gaining Strength permanent supportive housing apartments at 375 North Park Ave.

“This project is allowing the YWCA to go back to its original roots of providing help to area women and children who are in need of assistance,” Frank Hierro, a regional president at Huntington Bank, said. “The need for this kind of housing in this community is very significant.”

Former YWCA Executive Director Shari Harrell, present at the ribbon-cutting, said an earlier study indicated that Warren could use about 70 apartments of this type. Discussions of the housing project began in 2010 under Harrell, now director of the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley.

The units should be ready for occupancy in early June. The $2.1 million project was almost entirely paid by grants, and was built upon the YWCA’ s former swimming pool.

YWCA has partnered with Beatitude House and Coleman Professional Services to operate the housing units and provide the residents with supportive services.

Testa Builders Construction of Cuyahoga Falls is in charge of the construction project.

Reminding the audience there was a time when the YWCA building was for sale, Mayor Doug Franklin thanked members of the YWCA board for making the multi-million investment into the city and making sure the building will continue to have a useful purpose in the city’s downtown area. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati provide a $522,000 grant to the project to help strengthen families for years to come.