Cold shelters open during winter freeze

Cold shelters open during winter freeze

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Buildings all across the area opened their doors Wednesday to help people stay warm.

The Village of New Middletown opened their municipal building for anyone needing shelter, and agencies across the Valley are working to provide services.

Jim Echement with the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley, said about 135 people stayed at the mission Tuesday night. In a pinch, the building can shelter up to 200 men, women and children overnight.

“When it is cold, with the wind as rugged as it can be, frostbite happens very quickly,” Echement said. “We never close; we have the space; it is warm; it is safe. Don’t risk it. It is just not worth it.”

Lieutenant Rebecca Baker with the Salvation Army on Glenwood Avenue said they are offering hot meals and a warm place to stay until 6 p.m. for the rest of the week.

“It is important just to have a place for people who aren’t able to get out of the cold to be able to come in and get out of the cold, and the Salvation Army is happy to provide that service,” Baker said.

Emergency officials urge residents to keep an eye out for other people as the blast of cold air continues.

“Check on your neighbor. If you have elderly living in your neighborhood check on your neighbors. Make sure they are okay,” said Dennis O’Hara, Mahoning County EMA director. “

O’Hara said anyone needing assistance can call 211 for information on services.

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