ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — There are freezing temperatures around the Rochester area today. For those without a place to call home, there are places to stay warm. With folks in need of a warm space and hot meal, Monroe County has declared a Code Blue alert. And several organizations have responded.
Chilling temperatures and flurries of snow don’t bode well for those without a place to stay. That’s why Dr. Tammy Butler, Executive Director at House of Mercy says they are open to the public 24/7. She says their goal is to ensure that they keep people warm, safe, and are able to meet their needs.
For those seeking warmth, Ramon Cintron, Vice President of Programs at Open Door Mission says they’ve ramped up staff and are offering a heated space, a hot meal, and warm clothes. He says they’re stocking up on winter gear like hats, gloves, scarves, and coats to make sure they have enough in-house when people arrive.
Both locations are also providing more places to sleep. House of Mercy has been able to add on 10 beds to their facility. Dr. Tammy Butler says they’re operating at about 65% of House of Mercy’s capacity with the ability to offer 50 beds.
For many people out in the cold, there is a concern for how they’re going to get to these warming shelters. Dr. Butler says they have a partnership with Recovery All Ways to help transport people to their facilities. They also help people get to other shelters from House of Mercy. They’re goal is to make sure people have transportation to get somewhere where they can be warm.
Dr. Butler adds they have also strengthened security efforts to ensure a safe space for all who come to the shelter. She says everyone is welcome to give them a call or stop in anytime.
In addition to the shelters mentioned in this article, the City of Rochester is providing warming stations at the Trenton and Pamela Jackson R-Center, as well as the David F. Gantt R-Center. The Civic Center Parking Garage is closed to the public and not available as a warming center.
House of Mercy and Open Door Mission are always looking for donations to help their mission. If you have clothes, blankets, or hygiene items, you can see a full list of acceptable items over on their websites opendoormission.com and houseofmercyrochester.org.