Hometown Hero gives hope to former inmates coming out of prison

The Mahoning Valley Hope Center offers many different services to help people coming out of prison stay straight and have jobs for life

Rev. Chuck Gantz helps former inmates coming out of prison stay clean and get jobs.


WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – Rev. Chuck Gantz has been helping men and women stay out of local prisons for five years now.

He runs the Mahoning Valley Hope Center down the street from St. Joseph’s hospital on Warren’s southeast¬†side.

The focus of Gantz’s mission is to reach men and women just coming out of prison, making sure they stay straight and have jobs for life.

The Mahoning Valley Hope Center offers many different services, including Isabella’s Closet, which takes toy and clothing donations for those who need them.

Marcie Johnson is a retired social worker. Now she helps people at the Mahoning Valley Hope Center find jobs and housing.

“I previously worked in the prison and I just wanted to give back and help people,” she said.

Gantz said many who come out of prison are hopeless, which can lead to more trouble down the road.

“People that walk in these hallways come in here feeling hopeless. They feel disvalued, they feel like there’s absolutely no hope,” he said. “Feel like there’s no hope and fall back into this drug problem, which we’re all aware of. So we do referral programs to local detox and rehab centers as well.”

Gantz believes HOPE stands for Heavenly Opportunity Possibilities on Earth.

The Mahoning Valley Hope Center is always looking for donations. As long as people are willing to help, there’s hope.