ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As we approach those frigid temperatures this weekend, many of us no doubt will be indoors staying warm, but for some, it might not be that easy. For Rochester’s homeless population in winter, it can be an incredibly tough time on the streets.
The Open Door Mission and the House of Mercy are two local organizations trying to get the word out to anyone facing uncertainty out there, that they are here for them, especially in the bitter cold this weekend.
Anna Iseman with the Open Door Mission says outreach, especially in this season, is critical. “So I have people coming up to the door, literally with shoes with holes in them, no gloves, no coat… just in that immediate need, we’re able to meet that,” she says.
Their mission is also a warming center. A place people can go to escape the frigid temperatures, even for a bit and obtain winter clothing. “Even if someone’s not necessarily ready for shelter, we can at least equip them with the things they need to brave the elements out there,” she says.
“Well, we let people in, and we’ve got heat here, thank God,” says Sister Grace Miller with the House of Mercy on Ormond Street.
Miller says there are beds available and if those get used up, they’ll put out cots and as always they will not turn anyone away. “They’ll have meals for them, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and snacks on the table, and they’ll be welcome here,” she says.
Miller says this house is for anyone facing a crisis or uncertainty. “We get people who need help with rent, people whose electricity’s been shut off, people who are looking for apartments,” she says.
Both Iseman and Miller say their mission is all about meeting people where they’re at, whoever they might be. “That’s what we want to do, have time for everyone who comes here,” says Miller.