New program aims to lessen homeless in Mahoning County

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A new program wants to cut down on the number of homeless people in Mahoning County and surrounding area.

The Help Hotline Crisis Center is leading the way.

The Coordinated Entry Program for Mahoning County’s Homeless Continuum of Care is all about speeding up the process of getting the homeless into some type of housing. They assist charities and government service providers through planning, education and advocacy.

A waiting list is created for those in need that reach out to the crisis center.

They prioritize the list based on how severely people need housing — for instance, if they are disabled. This process allows more people in need to be helped.

“You have to call 211,” said Chris Duff, Housing Entry coordinator. “The phone room operator will get your information and get you connected to coordinated entry. It’s that easy”

The people highest on the waiting list are veterans, those getting out of domestic violence situations and those people that have been homeless the longest.