House of Mercy Capital Campaign

Thank you for your life-changing support!

Sister Grace Miller, RSM, founded the House of Mercy over 30 years ago. It all started on a cold Rochester night when Sister Grace saw a few homeless men outside who appeared to be frightened. She picked them up and drove them to a local homeless shelter, and they were refused entry. At that moment, Sister Grace knew she needed to create a refuge for people who have nowhere to go.

Since then, with the help of a few committed staff members and volunteers, the House of Mercy has been dedicated to serving the homeless and poverty stricken in Rochester.

“The Poor Need Help Today. Not Next Week.”

— Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy



Our Vision

In 2016, we embarked on one of the biggest steps in the history of the House of Mercy: we would be moving in early 2017 from Hudson Avenue into our new home at 285 Ormond Street, and we established a goal of raising $5 million to renovate the new building to best fit the needs of our mission.

This new facility is more than triple the size of our old building, allowing us to help more people than ever before. In a city with one of the highest rates of extreme poverty, that’s an important goal for everyone who believes in our mission.

Rochester's first House of Mercy
Sr. Grace, standing in front of the very first House of Mercy
Photo Credit: Audrey Horn
Renovations underway at the House of Mercy
Operations director Kelly Finnigan and Sr. Grace discuss renovation progress inside the new House of Mercy on Ormond St.
Photo Credit: Audrey Horn

Thank you to all of our generous donors for making our first ever capital campaign a success. We had a goal of $5 million, and we managed to raise over $6 million. Our capital campaign donors have allowed us to purchase the building on Ormond Street, renovate, furnish, and have some money left over for operations.

The proceeds from the capital campaign are enabling us to:

  • Move more people from homelessness into independent living
  • Provide more food, clothing, and assistance to people suffering from extreme poverty
  • Facilitate coordination with partner agencies throughout the community
  • Operate more efficiently and effectively, because we have the type of space and staffing to help better support our guests

Not only are we able to better serve our residents, but the impact of the Ormond Street House of Mercy is positively affecting the entire Rochester community in the following ways:

  • Reducing the number of emergency room visits
  • Reducing the strain on the police department and justice system
  • Reducing the number of homeless people who seek shelter in public places
  • Improving public safety for our residents and all of Rochester’s citizens
  • Improving the ability to promote downtown development and tourism

With your help, we were able to build – and we continue to be able to support – a new House of Mercy that gives hope to the thousands of people in our community who struggle to survive every day.

Everyone’s welcome to visit; please come see our new building!

We Need Your Help

In a city with one of the highest rates of extreme poverty in the country, the House of Mercy is the only organization that will always help anyone in need. Although we’ve met the goal for our capital campaign, the need for financial support is ongoing. Your donation now will help us do more for the thousands of people in our community who suffer from poverty, homelessness, severe mental illness and other disabling problems.

To discuss a pledge or explore major donor giving options, please contact:
Michael Belmont
Director of Development
585-546-2580 ext. 106

The Ormond Street facility before renovations
The Ormond Street facility before renovations.
Photo Credit: Audrey Horn
Reviewing progress inside the new House of Mercy on Ormond St
Reviewing progress inside the new House of Mercy on Ormond St.
Photo Credit: Audrey Horn

Special Giving Opportunity: Provide a Safe Bed to Someone Who’s Homeless


Think of what it must be like to be homeless, sleeping on the hard, cold ground. For many of us, that is difficult to imagine. At the House of Mercy, we have been providing shelter to Rochester’s most vulnerable citizens for over thirty years. But up until now, we have never had the proper space or funds to purchase beds for our residents to sleep in. We’ve gotten by with the use of donated couches in a small common area that also served as the chapel on Sundays. Now, in our new larger building on Ormond St, we want to ensure that everyone that comes to the House of Mercy seeking shelter will have a proper bed to sleep in. For a donation of $1,000 you can help us purchase a bed, and in turn, we will name the bed in honor of you or a loved one.

For more information on this special naming opportunity contact:
Michael Belmont
Director of Development
585-546-2580 ext. 106