WARREN - With the heavy snowfall, area missions are opening their doors to the homeless population.
Michelle Beauchene, director of development with the Warren Family Mission, said she hopes no one will be left out in the cold.
"We are setting up cots for people coming in off the streets. The homeless sometimes are hesitant to commit to the full-time shelter program that we offer," Beauchene said. "Because of the temperatures and weather conditions, we will house anyone who is out in the conditions and need somewhere warm to stay."
Beauchene said the mission spent Wednesday calling all local hospitals in an effort to get the word out.
"We just want people to know that they have a place to go," she said. "So far, we've had a few people come in, but we know once people hear about it and it starts getting late, more people will show up."
In addition to bedding, the Warren Family Mission - located at 361 Elm Road N.E. - will also provide food and drink to those in need.
"We will have breakfast, lunch and dinner provided for them," Beauchene said. "All the food is donated. We get nothing from the government, and we're sustained by the community donations."
Currently, the mission has 26 cots available in the Elm Road location gymnasium. Beauchene noted there is more room available if needed.
"We have an overflow room for another 12 people if the gym fills up. We have the space for even more than that, but we don't have enough cots to fill all of the space," Beauchene said. "If we could get the bedding, we could add more.
"We are trying to limit it to Trumbull County residents only right now. We aren't opposed to helping others, but we want to serve Trumbull County first.
"We just want to get the word out that there is somewhere to go."
Meanwhile, the Rescue Mission Mahoning Valley in Youngstown is also preparing for an influx of shelter-seeking citizens.
"We don't turn anyone away," client adviser Doug Gaugh said Wednesday. "Our family services department is just about at capacity, but we will do what we need to in order to make room."
Residents at the mission were about 40 percent higher than in previous years prior to the storm, according to Gaugh. That number includes 36 children and 60 involved in the mission's family services program, but he expects even more traffic due to the snow.
"We've had a bunch of people that have come in who were trying to get shelter," Gaugh said. "The weather can force even the heartiest, most head-strong of the homeless to check-in. We just hope - once they're here - they get involved in the program long term."
The Rescue Mission Mahoning Valley provides expanded winter shelter from Dec. 1 to March 1.