EAST PALESTINE — The village will have its own Way Station location in the basement of the First United Presbyterian Church.
Way Station executive director Chaney Nezbeth briefed village council on the plans for a satellite location during the Monday council meeting.
The Way Station currently has two other locations in the county, one in Columbiana and one in East Liverpool.
The local satellite location is expected to hold a grand opening sometime after Easter, Nezbeth said.
“The Way Station is really a major resource. Being in East Palestine we are going to be able to connect closer with the people that we serve in that part of the county,” she said.
Services offered through the satellite location will include a public thrift store, but also a discount clothing program for those who are eligible.
“This store in East Palestine would be a draw for people into your town. People love to shop and shop thrifty, so we draw in quite a few people,” she said.
The location will also offer a free diaper program that provides a free pack of diapers for both children and adults. The program has no income guidelines.
“This location is also going to be a site for community service individuals to get their community service hours in, as well as work experience program individuals who receive food stamps or cash assistance who are required to work so many hours a month,” she said.
She also said the goal is to eventually add a monthly food distribution.
Currently about 1,500 people a month receive food through that location’s distribution program and Nezbeth said she can see a need for a pantry in East Palestine.
Nezbeth’s parents, Larry and Sandy Wales, operate the local Social Concern alongside Barb Lynch. The non-profit organization provides food, utility and rent assistance to families in need within the East Palestine School District.
Nezbeth said the Way Station’s offerings won’t conflict with what Social Concern already has to offer.
“We can’t do this by ourself. We have to get support from the entire community,” she said. “One thing that we find is important, where someone is in need, is that they learn where the resources are, and we point them in that direction. Together, these combined agencies will help meet their need.”
Once open, the local Way Station will begin accepting donations of gently use clothing, shoes and bags. Nezbeth said the store will only be open on Thursday and Friday to start, with the possibility of adding Wednesdays down the road.
The store will not be open on weekends.