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.
  • 4,000+ families with food.
  • 2,000 cooked meals.
  • Groceries for 350+ families from our food pantry
  • Thousands 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.


Food, Shelter, & Clothing

The basics of life — that’s what so many of our Rochester community members need, and that’s what we provide. From a hot meal to safe shelter to clean, weather-appropriate clothing, and a food pantry we help ensure that essential needs are met for area homeless and poor.

Summer Youth Program

Each summer we send children, ages 7-15, to Camp Stella Maris. Summer is a crucial time for our children. Sending our kids to camp keeps them safely off the streets of down town Rochester and provides them with a fun safe summer time.

Farbridge House Ministry

The men and women in our Farbridge House Ministry are making one of life’s most difficult journeys: recovery from serious substance abuse problems.
Farbridge House Ministry participants are provided housing and resources so they can hold down jobs, pay rent, and share in their house’s upkeep. At the same time, through Bible study and professional support, residents develop the strength and hope they need to confront the challenging issues that lead to their addiction. For many this is a long-term journey to recovery, and the House of Mercy and the Farbridge House Ministry are there to guide all along the way.

Christmas Drive

There’s no better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ than by giving to the poor. That’s why each Christmas season our staff and volunteers work tirelessly to bring food, clothing, and gifts to the poor, sick and elderly who desperately need them.

      • Food: Every year we hand out hundreds of food baskets as part of this high-demand program, which starts receiving requests as early as October.
      • Gifts & Toys: We know that the holidays can be a heartbreaking time for parents who cannot afford gifts for the families they love. Gifts and toys donated by you, our generous community, are shared with Rochester families in need to help make the holidays brighter.
      • Clothing and Goods: Warm socks. New gloves. Basic bedding. Personal care items like a toothbrush, or fresh soap. We often take essentials such as these for granted but to those in need, these items are gifts — and we are all too happy to help provide.
      • Dinner Dance Fundraiser: Each year we invite the greater Rochester community to join us as we celebrate the holidays with an elegant semi-formal dinner, dancing and silent auction. Tickets are tax deductible, and money raised goes directly into helping the area’s homeless and poor.
Advocacy Services

The House of Mercy is committed to providing advocacy services to preserve the basic rights of our area’s homeless and poor. Some have serious psychological and emotional problems; some can’t read or write; some struggle to express themselves. We help protect their best interests when dealing with social services, the medical community, the criminal justice and legal system, utility companies, and other organizations that have a big impact on their lives.

Spirituality Services

Religion should be a choice, not something forced. We believe that spirituality gives inner strength and brings joy into our lives. That’s why spirituality services are an important part of our ministry.

Each week, we invite all to join us for Bible study, Mass and Gospel liturgy to build strength to face challenges and pray for all of those in our family. Through the House of Mercy Gospel Choir we raise up our voices and the community all around us. And we hold services on special occasions to celebrate the lives of people who mean so much to our community, such Martin Luther King, Jr.