Finding Room For the Homeless is a Growing Challenge in Rochester

Oct 15, 2013

He calls them the "invisible" homeless population-- the women and children who have been displaced by the poor economy or other difficulties.

Mike Hennessy, executive director of the Open Door Mission says 5,000 women and children were placed at the Hotel Cadillac this year alone.  Hennessy hopes that ODM will be able to expand its services one day to serve that population. 

Currently, the shelter only provides services to men, and is already over capacity 10 months out of the year.  Hennessy says the Open Door Mission is still trying to find space for the homeless men who have been spending nights at the heated Civic Center parking garage, now that the new owner will be restricting access. "These are the folks who have not been able to adapt to shelter life and navigate the rules of shelter life. They have chosen the streets as a lifestyle."

Hennessy says if necessary, the Open Door Mission will relax its rules to allow more homeless men spend time at the shelter if they "have the right countenance" and are willing to help themselves.