How We Help

Food. Shelter. Clothing. Serious substance abuse treatment. Spiritual services. Advocacy assistance. Drop-in emergency services. And so much more. Every day, all day, in ways big and small, we serve Rochester’s people in need.

Each month, the House of Mercy provides:

  • Safe overnight shelter for 570+ of Rochester’s homeless citizens.
  • 4000+ families with food.
  • 2,000 cooked meals.
  • Groceries for 350+ families from our food pantry
  • 1000s of goods like donated clothing, furniture, appliances, bedding, and personal care items.
  • Advocacy services and referrals to help people get health care, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, veterans benefits, social security and SSI.
  • Life skills classes and support groups.
    400+ rides to medical appointments, job interviews and more.
  • 12-16 instances of burial assistance for dignified funerals for the poor.
  • Voluntary personal counseling and spiritual services on request.
House of Mercy Food Pantry
House of Mercy Writers Workshop
House of Mercy Dining Hall

Our History

In 1985, Sister Grace Miller could see that homelessness was a big problem in Rochester, NY, and there simply weren’t enough shelters to meet the need. Sister Grace immediately went to work, and with help from the Sisters of Mercy, she opened a shelter in a small house on Central Park just north of downtown Rochester.

“As soon as we opened the door, people flooded in,” Sister Grace recalls.

And as need has grown, so too has the House of Mercy, expanding first into a larger house on Hudson Ave. and now a permanent homeless shelter and drop-in center on Ormond Street, serving more than 4,000 people a month.

Who We Are

The House of Mercy and our founder, Sister Grace Miller, are dedicated to serving and advocating for Rochester, NY’s homeless citizens.

Food, shelter, clothing, advocacy — operating 24/7, the House of Mercy never closes its doors on people in need.

We strive to be a beacon of hope for the poorest of the poor, and we never give up on the thousands of people we serve each month.

House of Mercy Staff

Staff & Volunteers

Sister Grace Miller | Founder and Executive Director
Sister Grace Miller Founder and Executive Director
Sister Rita Lewis | Guest Coordinator
Sister Rita Lewis
Guest Coordinator
CW Earlsey | Assistant Director
CW Earlsey
Assistant Director
Pam Smith | Social Work Director
Pam Smith
Social Work Director
Stacey Jerningan | Shelter Manager
Stacey Jerningan
Shelter Manager
Marcus Joiner | Shelter Manager
Marcus Joiner
Shelter Manager
"Preacher" A. | Food Service VolunteerBridget Carey | Warehouse ManagerLeonard J. | Janitorial VolunteerKathleen H. | Front Desk and Events VolunteerWillie J. | Dining Room and Janitorial VolunteerBrian Keene | Buildings and Grounds ManagerBarbara H. | Food Pantry VolunteerAnnette B. | Front Desk VolunteerTrish C. | Office VolunteerTammy C. | Laundry VolunteerEvelyn M. | Office VolunteerHubert W. | Shelter Volunteer"T" Gibson | Food Service AssistantLeila G. | Front Desk VolunteerJoyce B. | Front Desk Volunteer"Mama Liz" C. | Food Service Volunteer"Smokey" W. | Food Service Volunteer

Our Board

Bob Bartolotta
Vice Chair

Carol Tometsko

Richard Crossed

Brian DeJoy

Alan Hanford

Edward Hourihan

Tom McDermott

Kathy Purcell

Kate Schnittman

Krista Van Dusen

Dr. Janet Williams

Jamie Winnick

Miriam Zinter