WXXI AM News

Early cold impacting local homeless shelters

Nov 8, 2019

The unusually cold weather is putting a strain on local homeless shelters, including the House of Mercy, where Sister Grace Miller says they’re in need of winter clothing and supplies.

“We're in terrible need of winter jackets of all sizes for men and women,” she said. “We need boots for men and women.  The demand is very heavy, we're all out of them now, and we're begging people to please donate, so we can take care of the needs of the people when they come in.”

Miller says there are 82 beds at the shelter, but they are getting over 100 people each night during the cold spell.

She says monetary donations are always welcome, but people can also donate any items a homeless shelter would need at 82 Ormond Street, or visit the House of Mercy wish list on Amazon to have items delivered right to the shelter.

At the Open Door Mission, executive director Anna Valeria-Iseman says they’ve been at over capacity for most of the summer, so this cold weather is straining resources even more. She says there’s a need for both time and resources.

“We can always use resources in terms of gifts because we need to increase our staff,” she said. “But also one of the big needs we have right now is people to come in and serve breakfast.”

Valeria-Iseman says Open Door Mission provides a continental breakfast every day, but with so many more people coming in, there’s a need for volunteers to come in to help prepare a hot breakfast, plus the shelter can always use items like socks, underwear, hats and gloves. Valeria-Iseman says people can go to opendoormission.com to give resources or time.