YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Blue Coats served more than 2,500 individuals in 2023, including 1,800 veterans and nearly 100 children, necessitating the need for additional space.
In April, the nonprofit moved into a 12,000-square-foot warehouse space at 2654 N. Main St. in Hubbard,
Throughout 2023, Youngstown Blue Coats wrote grants, hosted fundraisers and donation drives to provide warming items – winter coats, boots, hats, gloves, scarves, sleeping bags, ground mats and tents – to help the homeless across northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. The organization expanded its focus from serving mostly homeless military veterans to partner with area schools and provide help for children in need, says Patty Summers, CEO and founder.
The nonprofit, in collaboration with 58 area agencies, further helped those they encountered by addressing the need for physical and mental health care. In 2024 the organization is seeking to add a passenger van or truck to augment its blue bus, named Alexander J. Luke in honor of a World War II hero.
The addition of a van or truck would allow Youngstown Blue Coats to serve the growing population of homeless by holding multiple distributions and events on a single day.
“This will necessitate additional funding as we continue to grow and accomplish our mission,” Summers says. “This is a challenging objective and we can achieve it with the help of this generous community.”
The all-volunteer organization, founded in 2017, is always seeking donations of cash and gently used warming items, she adds.
Pictured at top: The Youngstown Blue Coats cut the ribbon at its new warehouse in Hubbard, which increased by more than four-times space to house the nonprofit and its expanding mission. Front from left: Patty Martell, Pat Maoirca, John Stun, Patty Summers, Roseann Panning and Dee Cook. Back row: Rick Roth, John Johnston and Jimmy Miller.