Building Damage Necessitates Temporary Closure of Way Station

COLUMBIANA, Ohio – Deterioration of the floor at The Way Station will necessitate the closure of the location for a few months.

The Way Station, 769 Springfield Road, will be closed from Saturday through Jan. 8 while repair work is done.

To save themselves from having to move all of the items from the 9,000-square-foot facility, Chaney Nezbeth, executive director and CEO of The Way Station, said the charity will have a 75% off sale this week until the doors close.

When The Way Station moved into the location about 17 years ago, the floor needed to be leveled, but moisture that has accumulated has rotted the material under the floor, and mold has been discovered. The remedy will include sealing off the offices in the unaffected area, opening up the floors and replacing them, HEPA cleaning and repainting walls.

Nezbeth said once the floors are pulled up, none of the staff can be in the building.

But the community need is not going away.

“We are the only food pantry in Columbiana, and it is important that we continue to keep our doors open regardless of this amount of damage to our building. We have to find a way to stay open,” Nezbeth said.

The October food pantry will occur at the current location as scheduled, but in November and December, the food pantry will move across the street to the Upper Room Fellowship, which will be a drive-thru. Dates and times have been changed as well. The food distributions will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Nov. 15 and Dec. 21.

Temporarily, The Way Station will have a smaller pop-up location at First Christian Church of Columbiana, 39 Cherry St., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays. That location will sell seasonal decorations and clothing items such as winter coats, boots and warm clothes. Some assistance items such as diapers also will be available.

In December, The Way Station’s annual Christmas Toy Giveaway also will be held at the First Christian Church location.

“We are requesting that retail donations either be held until we reopen in January or can be taken to either our East Palestine location or our East Liverpool location,” Nezbeth said.

Aside from the help the organization provides to the community, The Way Station is staffed by low-income senior citizens hired through Goodwill and those receiving SNAP benefits, who all still need a place to work.

“It’s important that we serve the people who have the needs, as well as keep the people employed who we are currently partnering with,” Nezbeth said, adding that at the Columbiana location, they temporarily will not be able to accommodate students with special needs who work there or those seeking court-ordered community service hours, with the exception of those already signed up.

The Way Station is holding a capital campaign to raise the $250,000 needed for the project. Nezbeth said money from Norfolk Southern for those affected by the East Palestine train derailment cannot, and will not, go toward the repairs.

To help with the project, mail donations to P.O. Box 449, Columbiana. Donations also can be made online HERE.

For information about The Way Station’s programs, call 330 482 5072 and leave a message.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.