40 units planned on property owned by Youngstown Schools

By William K. Alcorn



The Mahoning County Mental Health Board took the next step in the development of 40 units of affordable, permanent supportive housing for its clients.

At its meeting Thursday, the board authorized an appraisal of the proposed site for the apartments, 31/2 acres at the corner of Madison Avenue and Covington Street owned by Youngstown City Schools, and development of a proposed purchase agreement and other necessary documents.

The Youngstown Board of Education earlier this month sent a letter of intent, a nonbinding document, to the mental-health board indicating it would sell the property for $36,000.

The mental-health board plans to apply to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency to finance the project, estimated to cost between $6 million and $8 million. The potential cost of each unit is between $150,000 and $200,000, said Joseph Caruso, president and chief executive officer of Compass Family and Community Services.

The project is a partnership among Help Hotline Crisis Center, Compass, Meridian Community Care and the mental-health board. The property would be owned by the mental- health board with the eventual goal of turning it over to the other three partners, officials said.

The housing would serve clients with mental illness, addiction and co-occurring disorders.

In other action, the mental-health board expanded funding not to exceed $66,000 for fiscal year 2015 for D&E Counseling’s Camp Challenge Program.

The camp, an intensive outpatient program for children 7 to 12 with severe behavioral disorders, has been a six-week program with the capacity to serve 40 children. With the mental-health board funding expanded from $40,000 to $66,000, the program will consist of two five-week sessions and will allow services for those in need of a second session and permit more children referred to the program, said Greg Cvetkovic, D&E director.

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