Rochester shelters work to bring homeless in from the cold

Rochester shelters work to bring homeless in from the cold


By Melanie Johnson

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Safety concerns are rising as the cold temperatures continue to drop. A Code Blue weather warning remains in effect for New York State. The bitter cold temperatures have proven to be quite dangerous for people with no place to go.

“This time of year, especially when it gets down to the single digits at night and then it gets into the teens during the day, could be really dangerous for someone living on the street,” said Kelly Finnegan, of the House of Mercy.

The House of Mercy says there are at least 30 percent more people at their shelter during the winter months, many with cases of frost bite and hypothermia.

Local shelters like the House of Mercy have already started transporting people out of the cold and into a warm place to stay.

“Even if they won`t come in to sleep here, we`d like for them to come in during the day and just get warm, meet with a social worker, have a meal, maybe give them a sleeping bag,” said Finnegan.

The House of Mercy is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is willing to pick up anyone anytime to get them out of the cold.

“Our philosophy is we don’t turn anyone away,” said Finnegan.