Pastor’s project supporting start-ups with resources in Warren

The FOCUS Building in Warren aims to turn other people's business or nonprofit dreams into a reality by providing the space and tools to make it happen

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – A Warren pastor and his friend are teaming up to help those wanting to start up businesses and nonprofit organizations in the community.

Faith, Opportunity, Collaboration, Unity, and Support — that’s the message behind the FOCUS Building, located off of Niles Road in Warren.

Walking down the halls of the revitalized community center, Rev. Todd Johnson and Terrill Vidale are seeing their vision come to life.

“We just acquired the building in July so we’ve only been here for maybe about a month and so much has already been done,” Vidale said.

With the FOCUS Building, they hope to turn other people’s business or nonprofit dreams into a reality by providing the space and tools — like wifi and on-site printing — to make it happen.

“We want individuals who have a dream, who have an idea, or who have a desire to serve the community to have a space to do it in and to have 21st century amenities to do it with,” Rev. Johnson said.

Vidale said he wished he had this support years ago.

“I’m an entrepreneur now and I feel like this is a need in our community because when I was starting my business four years ago, we didn’t have this type of support or this type of resource.”

The building doesn’t officially open until the end of the month but on Friday, its newest tenants — an organization called “Citizens Uniting Citizens” — officially signed their lease.

“It’s a wonderful fit because we are community-minded,” Barbara Phinisee said.

Her program is aimed at helping people who are returning home from incarceration to incorporate back into the community.

“It’s really nice to be able to have access to printing, to have access to conference rooms, to have all the access to things that you need to run a business,” she said.

The FOCUS Building offers two types of leases — a shared space and a separate office space. For leasing information, call 330-953-3340 or visit them on Facebook.