Hometown Hero helps to provide bright future for youth

St. Augustine House in Youngstown is the center of work for this week's Hometown Hero

Fr. Ed Brienz of the Youngstown Diocese

YOUNGTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Where does a young man find help in Youngstown when he’s trying to escape drugs or crime or a bad family life? This week’s 33 WYTV Hometown Hero, Father Edward Brienz, offers both shelter and a chance to work and dream.

Augustine House on sits on Glenwood Avenue on Youngstown’s south side. Father Ed runs it and to the boys who stay there, Father Ed has become a real hero.

Isiah Helms is staying there. He says Father Ed is someone you can rely on.

“If you are ever down bad and need someone to talk to, he’s here. You can always count on him,” Isiah said.

Four boys are staying Augustine House right now. Each has his own room with room for as many as eight. They’ll stay here from anywhere from a month to up to a year. Don’t call them boys with a troubled past, call them boys with a bright future.

“I want to be able to get my own apartment after I graduate high school, be able to go to either a technical school or a career school,” said Andrew Mozden, resident.

All the boys who live at Augustine House work at Cafe Augustine, inside the Newport branch of the public library. They learn life skills and earn cash to pay for their room and board back at the home.

“We’re not a flophouse. We’re not a homeless shelter, but this is a support environment for young people that want to get introduced into the working world,” Father Ed said.

There’s room to grow at St. Augustine House, but Father Ed says he’s is also looking for a separate home for young women. “I’ve got all the real estate agents on speed dial,” he said.