EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – Help has been available to the people of East Palestine since the train derailed, in the form of water, food, clothes and health care.

The Way Station is behind an effort Friday and Saturday to canvass the city and make sure people are aware of the available help. It’s an effort that is paying dividends.

Way Station CEO Chaney Nezbeth found a person living on Alice Street who had slipped through the cracks.

‘This lady today on the street, she was on the phone with utility companies trying to find a way to keep her utilities on. She had no idea that there was even $1,000 available and that she could still get that,” Nezbeth said.

Nezbeth said the two were crying together as she shared the available assistance, but most of the other people told the canvassers they already knew about what was available from churches and the Way Station.

“We’re glad that people are aware of the things that are available in town. The community meals, assistance with food and, and personal care items,” said Carolyn Wilson, of East Palestine.

The Way Station found structural floor damage recently at its Columbiana location. A conservative estimate for the damage is $250,000, and the organization will have to raise money for repairs.

“We’re gonna have to shut our doors. It isn’t a permanent shut, but we should be down for probably two months,” Nezbeth said.

That will begin around November 1. The Way Station will try to do a large sell-down so there’s less to move around ahead of repairs. It plans to find a way to still meet the basic needs that people depend on them for.

“We know this is going to be a struggle for the people that come to us for food, for diapers, for the free clothing when they have nothing. We are making arrangements for an off-site pop-up location so we can still serve the needs of the people during this construction,” Nezbeth said.

That pop-up location will be at the First Christian Church in Columbiana, and the Upper Room Fellowship across the street will help the Way Station host a food distribution once a month.