YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley hopes to begin construction of their new shelter this year.
The mission is about 10% shy of their $4.95 million fundraising campaign, but leaders recently announced that they would like to stay on the north side of Youngstown instead of the proposed 17-acre site on the south side.
About 40 people attended a community meeting on Tuesday at the Eugenia Atkinson Rec Center to learn more about the proposed north side location.
The site is only a few hundred feet from where the current Rescue Mission is located on Route 422. Parts of the new site are owned by the city and county land banks.
After hearing testimonies and seeing several blueprints of the construction plan, neighbors had a chance to voice their concerns, a lot of which revolved around safety and crime.
“One of the things that we did from a design standpoint is to meet and listen to these concerns and to help answer these concerns because, again, we’re a community organization. We’re funded by individuals in this community, businesses, churches and foundation, so again, we want to work alongside the community because we’re a part of the community,” said Rescue Mission president John Muckridge.
Muckridge said the mission started looking at new locations and talking with city leaders over a year ago.
Mission leaders believe keeping the facility on the north side makes more sense because it is closer to resources that their clients are already accessing. They also said there is flooding issues at the proposed south side location.
Community talks will continue, but as soon as the city approves the deal, Muckridge said they can break ground.