As I drove to the store this weekend to get a few supplies, my heart sank. A few individuals who I recognized from our homeless population were sitting outside next to businesses that were closed. The Rochester Public Library, restaurants, coffee shops, spaces that were normally open were now shut due to the coronavirus and were places where these individuals could go when the Warming Shelter closed up for the morning.

As I was thinking and wondering what could be done this morning, I also learned that the Dorothy Day House was closing their doors due to coronavirus.

Just as I was ready to send a note to Mayor Kim Norton, my friends over at The Landing MN, and others in our town that I know who are passionate about this cause, I received some good news in my inbox.  Community members and several nonprofits worked together with the City of Rochester and Olmsted County to open a temporary Day Center to help those who are experiencing homelessness.

 

The Day Center opened Monday morning in the Mayo Civic Center Exhibition Hall and will be open every day from 8am until 8pm.

According to the press release, "individuals or families experiencing homelessness will have access to the space and also food, water, and bathrooms."  Food will be coordinated by Powers Ventures and provided by Channel One, the Salvation Army, The Landing MN, and local restaurants.  The Rochester Public Library will be helping by providing volunteers and will also be providing books.  Mayo Civic Center will be providing wi-fi for visitors.

“Community members are really stepping up and helping us address these critical needs at such a critical time,” says Norton.

“These are the basic needs that no one should have to worry about,  The Day Center setup allows for individuals to have access to those resources in a space large enough to accommodate social distancing.” - Audrey Betcher, Director of the Rochester Public Library.

“We are committed to doing what we can to support the vulnerable in our community,” Mayor Kim Norton.

Thank you to all who are helping those in our community!

Do you know someone that is working on the frontlines right now that you want to give a shoutout to and say "Thanks!"? Let me know!  Send me a message on my Facebook page (Jessica On The Radio) or DM me on Instagram.

Listen to Jessica Williams weekdays from 6 am until 10 am on Y105FM’s early morning show!

Jessica plays Country’s Greatest Hits weekdays from 12 pm - 6 pm on 103.1 KFIL!