WXXI AM News

Beds are already full at the Open Door Mission

Oct 18, 2018

The Open Door Mission is gearing up for what promises to be a very busy winter season.

That's the word from Executive Director Anna Valeria-Iseman, who says the shelter has been unexpectedly full this fall.

"Which is actually not consistent with years previous, so that's a little bit of an alarm to us that we're going to have a really, really busy winter.  So we are doing what we can, we're staffing up, we're making sure that we have enough people on during the day as well as overnight," she said.

Credit opendoormission.com

Last winter, the shelter welcomed women for the first time, during frigid "Code Blue" conditions, and Valeria-Iseman says it was so successful, they decided to renovate a room in their shelter so they can have a women's dorm, with ten additional beds.

There are now 50 beds, but those beds are already occupied.

"Our beds are full, it seems to be, no matter the weather now.  Of course, when it gets colder, that is going to drive more people in on top of an already busy homeless situation around here," she said.

Valeria-Iseman adds they'll also open their doors to the residents of a nearby tent encampment if they need food or a shower, or an overnight stay.

She says the Open Door Mission is in need of winter clothing, especially larger sizes, and financial donations to support the mission's efforts to serve those in need.