Huntington City Mission receiving funding for extra housing

Mayor Steve Williams says the intent is to help people heal and become productive members of society again.
Published: May. 29, 2023 at 10:18 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Expansion is expected this year at the Huntington City Mission.

At last Monday’s Huntington City Council meeting, members approved allocating $500,000 to the mission to create new low-barrier housing for people in need.

It’s part of a resolution to shift funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. The funds were originally meant for broadband development but went unspent.

Mayor Steve Williams says this will help people who are battling addiction find treatment.

“The intent is to be able to engage these individuals and be able to create a pathway towards the opportunity that they can be healed and become productive members of our society again,” Williams said.

“It’s tough for the public and business owners when they’re sleeping in your doorway,” mission executive director Mitch Webb said. “What we want to do is provide a place for them.”

Webb says they’re considering several options, including renovating a storage building. That option would allow them to add approximately 35 cots.

Another option is building a new structure behind the storage building on property they already own. He says that would create enough space for an extra 50 cots.

“It would be pretty bare bones,” Webb said. “We don’t need anything fancy.”

Webb says they’re also planning to open a new mental health care facility on 6th Avenue.

“It’s the kids that you saw grow up in your neighbor’s yard that played football with your kids,” Webb said. “That’s who they are. We can write them off. We can categorize them in certain way, but they’re real live people. If you are of the Christian faith, then you have to say they are people for whom Christ died.”

Webb says there’s no timeline yet on when work on the project will get underway, but they’re expecting it to be completed before winter.