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. Because of pandemic restrictions, it also had to discontinue its daytime soup kitchen, food pantry and drop-in program, volunteer groups and events, and the acceptance and distribution of donations.

“We will, of course, stay open and continue to serve those in our community,” an announcement on the shelter’s website says.

Or as Sister Grace, the shelter’s 84-year-old director and fearless advocate for the city’s homeless, put it: “When they come here, they know we will take care of them.”

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