The average number of children sheltered overnight at the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley has tripled ever since the shelter moved to a new location in November of 2021.

In 2021, the monthly average of child overnight stays was 206. But as of Tuesday, March 22, the monthly average has jumped all the way to 680.

Between March 1 and March 22, 2022, 46 different children have been sheltered for at least one night at the shelter.

In particular, on the night of March 8 2022, a total of 44 children were housed at the new Rescue Mission building. The total capacity for the women and family's department is 88 beds, and the department has had a total of 77 people in the shelter that evening.

That night was the first time in the Rescue Mission's history that the amount of children was greater than the amount of adults in the women and family's department overnight.

Since March 8, the amount of children in the house has been in flux, dipping at the lowest point of just 27 children overnight ranging in age from a few months old to 16 years old.

The Rescue Mission is attributing the spike to the COVID-19 pandemic, citing social distancing requirements that reduced the overnight capacity from 60 individuals to just 30.

In March of 2020, when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, the total of child overnight stays went from 305 to just 96 in the following month. ]

However, the amount of children the Rescue Mission is seeing now is still greater than the Mission's pre-pandemic numbers. In 2018, the average number of children sheltered overnight was 462 and 454 the following year.

To donate to the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley, visit their website