RIT University News: Telehealth connects homeless with therapists training at RIT

Susan Gawlowicz from RIT’s University News writes about how Professor Caroline Easton leads a team of therapists in a doctoral training program to provide telepsychology services to House of Mercy residents.

Residents of a homeless shelter in Rochester are continuing to receive therapy during the coronavirus pandemic from a team of therapists in a clinical internship program at Rochester Institute of Technology.

The doctoral training program began as an exercise in using telepsychology to deliver care to a marginalized and underserved population. When New York shut down in March to stem the spreading virus, the therapists were already prepared to apply the telehealth protocols in the crisis.…

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Catholic News Service: Shelter in place is nothing new to Mercy sister’s homeless ministry

Catholic News Service writes about how House of Mercy provides shelter and compassion for the homeless – as it has for over 30 years – even during the Coronavirus pandemic.

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The key to sheltering in place is having a place to go.

That has been the driving force behind Mercy Sister Grace Miller’s homeless ministry in Rochester, New York, long before the coronavirus pandemic. But these days, more people are knocking at her shelter’s doors even though many of its outreach programs have been temporarily put on hold.

The House of Mercy shelter she started in 1985 has always been open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but now it is open only at night.…

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Stations of the Cross 2020

For a quarter of a century, the House of Mercy, St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality and Rochester Pax Christi have gathered to commemorate Good Friday, the day on which Jesus was executed by the Roman Empire, and to remember the many ways in which Christ is crucified today, in His people. This Good Friday, the pandemic prevents us from gathering physically; however, this virtual gathering allows us to take the stations beyond Rochester’s central city.

Today, the crucifixion is being reenacted by tens of thousands – dying not on a cross, but in hospitals and nursing homes, isolated from family and friends.…

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Sr. Grace Miller named Women of Excellence honoree

Rochester, N.Y. — Rochester Business Journal selected Sister Grace Miller, House of Mercy Executive Director, as a Women of Excellence honoree.

Established in 2018, the Women of Excellence awards recognize high-achieving women for their professional experience, community involvement, leadership and sustained commitment to mentoring. Winners were selected by a panel of judges comprised of previous Circle of Excellence and Women of Excellence honorees.

In addition, seven women will be inducted into the Circle of Excellence. The Circle of Excellence recognizes women of longstanding, notable success in the community who are leading the way for other women. These honorees were selected by Rochester Business Journal editors.…

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RochesterBeacon: Life on the edge

Mike Costanza with the RochesterBeacon writes about how homeless shelters and other charities in Monroe County, including the House of Mercy, struggle to maintain the funding required to provide the services they offer to the homeless and hungry in Rochester.

The nonprofits that serve Monroe County’s homeless and hungry depend upon a patchwork of funding to continue their work. Though they appear to be holding their own, there could be problems on the horizon.

….

Under such circumstances, those serving the county’s unhoused and hungry can find themselves stretched very thin. The House of Mercy Inc. offers a number of benefits for the needy, including the use of its 82-bed emergency shelter, which fills up most nights.…

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13WHAM: Early season chill putting a strain on local homeless shelters

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) – Lawrence Greggs has been homeless for ten years. He’s spent the last two at the House of Mercy in Rochester.

He’s used to cold temperatures, but not typically this early.

“It’s really tough. It’s brisk out. A hot meal is more than just something I like to have; it’s one of the reasons why I come here,” said Greggs. “The way the wind is going, and how brisk it is out, you’d be an icicle before you know it.”

Some local shelters say the quick turnaround from seasonable warmth to single-digit wind chills in a short time has put a bigger strain on their resources.…

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Farash Prize for Social Entrepreneurship

In late 2018, Sister Grace Miller was nominated for the Farash Prize for Social Entrepreneurship.

First awarded in 2012, the Farash Prize honors the legacy of Max Farash—a business entrepreneur who, along with his wife, Marian, recognized the importance of supporting social causes in their community.

Congratulations on this nomination Sister Grace!…

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House of Mercy Featured in Walmart Commercial

The House of Mercy is featured in a new television commercial for Walmart. The retail giant is focusing on its commitment to American manufacturers that support non-profits in their own communities. This week, Walmart unveiled its series, ‘American Ingenuity’ on its YouTube channel, highlighting the philanthropic actions of several locally owned and operated businesses whose products are carried in Walmart locations across the country.

The Perfect Granola, a local food company, donates a portion of its proceeds to help feed people at House of Mercy’s soup kitchen.

In addition, Ashlie Jones, an employee of The Perfect Granola, volunteers at The House.…

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Bernie Sass: Hard-working Chairman Of The Board

He’s a veteran of manufacturing management. And he holds a BA and an MBA from Michigan State. But these days he’s happier with a hammer in his hand.

Fixing holes. Renovating. Remodeling. Patching up our worn out House of Mercy building on Hudson with baling wire and duct tape. And providing an inspiring role model for every House supporter and volunteer.

Meet Bernie Sass, Chairman of the Board of the House of Mercy.

Jumping in with both feet

After a 30-plus year career working for prominent companies like Xerox and ITT, this dedicated member of St. Mary’s of the Lake in Ontario, N.Y.,…

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Women’s Month Interview with Sister Grace and Sister Rita

In Honor of Women’s Month, we asked Sister Grace and Sister Rita their thoughts on current issues:

1. What women have inspired and influenced you? Why?

SG: My mother, because of the way she brought us up. She was from Italy, and a hard worker. She lived for her kids. They were her whole life. Both parents, I know we meant the wold to them.

SR: My mother, grandmothers, and Sister Grace. My mother was very religious, loved kids, loved being a mother, the she got ill at 37 leaving eight of us. So both my grandmothers pitched in to help.…

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Stations of the Cross

This past Friday, Sister Grace Miller along with members of the House of Mercy and St. Josephs House of Hospitality, took to the sidewalks to honor the Catholic tradition of the 14 Stations of the Cross for Good Friday. The Stations of the Cross, also referred to as the Vio Dolorosa, is a narration of the final hours of the life of Jesus Christ. These stations are meant to serve as a reminder of Christ’s humble demeanor during his crucifixion process as he set aside any of his privileges as a deity so he could provide a path of salvation during his sacrifice. 

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Holy Thursday Washing of the Feet

After washing the Disciples’ feet, Jesus explained what He did and why. “You should wash one another’s feet,” He told them. “I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:1-17)

Washing of the Feet

Washing of the Feet

Washing of the Feet

Washing of the Feet

Washing of the Feet

Thank you to our amazing photography volunteer Julie who helps us share moments like this with all of our supporters! Photo Credit: Julie Oldfield.…

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Our Easter Wish List

Stations of the Cross

Every day at the House of Mercy is a busy day but Holidays are even busier. With Easter less than two weeks away everyone is working around the clock to prepare. Our celebration starts on Holy Thursday with a spiritual washing of the feet, followed by the stations of the cross around Rochester on Good Friday, Saturday we will be holding an Easter vigil. On Easter Sunday we will be cooking a hearty meal for over 300 guests. On top of that we hand out boxes of food to members of our community and make 125 Easter baskets for children who would normally go without.…

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The House of Mercy Board Serves a Meal at REACH

The House of Mercy’s Board of Directors served dinner to the homeless at REACH on Saturday January 16th. The board along with their spouses cooked a large meal of chicken, salad, veggies, stew, pasta, and desserts. Everyone enjoyed spending time with the people we work so hard to serve.

REACH is a new community formed group that came together to help the House of Mercy serve the chronically homeless. Last winter the House of Mercy opened up and ran Sanctuary Village to help house Rochester’s hardest to place homeless. This year while working hard towards our goal of a new & larger building for the House of Mercy REACH came forward to help.…

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Volunteer Spotlight: Juanita Washington

She was there from the beginning. When Sister Grace was hunting for a location on Central Park, Juanita Washington led her to a little place that became the first House of Mercy.

After that, Juanita volunteered to do anything and everything. And for years, she worked here almost every day. She put together racks for clothing. She handed out clothes and bread. And she cooked and cooked, helping to feed homeless people in Rochester who had nowhere else to turn.

“A lot of them were sleeping in the street and in boarded up homes and they weren’t getting anything to eat. Then when we opened up, they started to come from all over.…

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Closing of Civic Center Garage: How It All Started

Sanctuary Village was a temporary homeless shelter, designed to provide shelter and support to chronically homeless men and women during the winter of 2014-2015.  Over the course of nearly 3 months during one of the coldest winters in recent memory, Sanctuary Village sheltered more than 200 people.  Sanctuary Village was an unprecedented collaboration between the House of Mercy, Buckingham Properties, and the City of Rochester.  Although it opened in January 2015, the roots of the program took hold several months before.

For many years, several men and women lived in the Civic Center Garage in downtown Rochester.   As the only heated garage in the City and close to several provider agencies and resources, the garage was an attractive location for the chronically homeless.  …

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