Youngstown kitchen hosts Christmas for the Homeless

Our Community Kitchen gave away free warm meals, while there was also a tent with free items like socks and diapers

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Hundreds of people got into the Christmas spirit Saturday at the Christmas for the Homeless event at Our Community Kitchen in Youngstown.

“I’m here today to volunteer and help give back,” said volunteer Ron Blatell. “I was actually here last year as a homeless vet.”

Skip Barone manages Our Community Kitchen. He worked with local churches to prepare the meals for Saturday.

He said nothing is more important than investing in the neighborhood.

homeless_dinner_2“It’s become a mission of ours to reach out to people,” Barone said. “There are so many people in need in the Youngstown area. By the same token, there are so many generous people who have reached out and given back.”

After people received their warm meal from inside Our Community Kitchen, they could check out a tent where there were socks, diapers — everything a person could need — for free.

Blattel said the overwhelming support he received at this event last year was a turning point for him.

“It kind of showed me a whole different side,” Blattel said. “People actually do care. People do want to help. People do want to help us.”

“It’s wonderful to see these people that you helped,” said Mason Carratt, a humanitarian. “And then they come back and they’re on their feet and they’re working and they’re being productive members of society. And a lot of them come back and give back.”

Blatell said as long as there are people in need, he’ll do anything he can to help out.

“I just try to give as much as I can because I know what it’s like,” he said.