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Constructing a new Mission

Bricks and mortar going up at $5.5 million facility

Job superintendent Joe Abbott, left, with Witmer’s Construction of Tallmadge, watches as David Overholt, owner of Overholt Masonry of Minerva, and his son, Samuel Overholt, lay block for one of two stairwells for the new Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley on Oakland Avenue in Youngstown. Completion of the new mission is projected for next spring.

YOUNGSTOWN — Bricks and mortar are being set at the new Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley on the North Side, leading to wood-frame walls going up in three to four weeks.

The Rescue Mission has raised all of the $5.5 million to pay for the building and is working to obtain $1.4 million to provide the furniture and equipment, John Muckridge III, president and CEO of the Rescue Mission, said.

“Man, it’s been amazing to see how things have come together,” Muckridge said Tuesday.

The companies working on the project “have said it’s such a privilege to work on this job. They are all top-notch,” Muckridge said. “They have a heart to serve the community and work on this.”

Completion of the project is projected for next spring. Work will progress throughout this winter.

The new 47,500-square-foot facility will be about double the size of the current facility, which is a short distance south at 962 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

The city sold 27 parcels to the Rescue Mission last September for $6,480 for its new location. Ground for the project was broken on Halloween, and most of the work thus far has involved clearing of land and leveling the site.

The Rescue Mission is working to find a buyer for its current location. If one isn’t found, the mission will demolish the 89-year-old building that originally housed a YMCA.

IN NEED

The mission provides food, shelter and counseling to those in need. Its normal overnight capacity is 168 people with an emergency capacity of 198 with the addition of 30 cots and sleeping bags.

The last $1.4 million will be used to obtain everything from kitchen equipment to furnishings for the bedrooms, dining hall, chapel and beyond. Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC gifted a large quantity of used office furniture in April.

Muckridge urges anyone interested in helping to watch YouTube videos such as one that tells of the Rescue Mission’s plan to powder coat 68 1990s-era steel bunks and to purchase two rails for each bunk.

The cost will be $426.10 for each bunk rather than buying all new bunks, which would cost several times as much for each bunk. The video is at www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOMj–PDY4u0.

“We want to be good stewards of what we have,” Muckridge said.

The mission initially planned to relocate to a site on the city’s South Side, but opted to stay on the North Side for the betterment of its clientele, Muckridge said previously.

While looking for locations on the North Side, Muckridge said he spoke with Debora Flora, executive director of the Mahoning County Land Bank, who suggested the selected site because of its proximity to the current site, Youngstown State University, St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital and surrounding medical offices. It’s also a stop on the Western Reserve Transit Authority bus line.

Until the mission can place the furniture in the new building, U.S. Safety Gear in Warren has volunteered to warehouse the furniture.

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