YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Youngstown City Council on Wednesday evening said yes to spending money for a new multi-purpose center and for giving a tax break to a company, but council also heard from a woman who questioned putting homeless veterans housing on the South Side.
Beverly Lewis operates a daycare care center on Youngstown’s West Warren Avenue near Hillman Street. But it wasn’t until last week — when a ceremony was held — did she realize a transitional housing facility for homeless veterans was to be built on Hillman and Warren.
“But what I’m here to talk about today was how the rights of the residents of the Warren Avenue and the surrounding streets were violated,” Lewis said.
Lewis questioned city council about why neighbors were not notified — and a public meeting was not held to explain the project. She says the area of Hillman and Warren is known as a place where prostitutes and drug addicts gather.
“What sense does it make … to put them on a corner where we already have that type of trouble and give that type of temptation, negative temptation, to them?” said Lewis.
The idea for the homeless veterans facility — which will be made from shipping containers — was that of First Ward Councilman Julius Oliver.
“There are no homeless that are going to be any type of detriment to the community that are going to be coming into that facility,” Oliver said.
Oliver said homeless veterans with issues are housed in Akron, and he said the Youngstown facility will be an enhancement to the community.
“Their plan is going to be to build out all four corners, which is going to enhance your property and your property value, as well, as well as the whole community around it,” Oliver said.
Council also approved $100,000 of American Rescue Plan money for a new multi-purpose center at the church which once housed New Bethel Baptist. A job creation grant with Trivium Aluminum Packaging will over the next three years reimburse the company a percentage of its income taxes, in exchange for as many as 90 jobs that could potentially be created.
Council also moved to a third reading on the spending of $65,000 on a feasibility study for a city ambulance service and fire station location study. It also agreed to spend ARP funds for designs for the Falls Park rehabilitation project and the Lynn Park Renovation project.