News Release - Homelessness Resolution Strategy Study Released; City, County and Non-Profits Unite to Address Homelessness

City of Rochester

News Release

(Wednesday, March 6, 2013) – Mayor Thomas S. Richards today announced the completion of the Homelessness Resolution Strategy, a study the City organized in 2010 to help guide the community’s efforts to address homelessness. The City worked in partnership with Monroe County and a host of area service providers on the study to help identify the community’s unmet needs for emergency placement facilities, safe haven shelters and permanent housing for the homeless.

“A broad and collaborative effort was made in completing this Homeless Resolution Strategy and it will require even greater collaboration to achieve its recommendations,” said Mayor Richards. “I thank the many people who contributed their time and expertise to this report and I appreciate their continued dedication to the issue of homelessness in Rochester. This project is especially vital as those with the greatest needs for these types of services are concentrated in the city.”

“Monroe County is proud to have worked collaboratively with the City of Rochester and local service providers to dig deeper into the challenging issue of homelessness,” said Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks. “There is no doubt that many contributing factors lead to homelessness. That's why it is so important that the City and the County are working side by side to tackle these challenges and best serve our entire community.”

“The Open Door Mission is honored to be a part of the community wide solution to this community wide problem,” said Michael Hennessy, Executive Director of the Open Door Mission. “We are committed to offering not only shelter, but tried and tested recovery programs, to those hardest to reach in our community.”

The report recommends the development of a Coordinated Access System to help better identify and meet the needs of those who are threatened with homelessness. The plan calls for implementing “Housing First” – permanent housing options for the most difficult-to-serve homeless populations, often individuals suffering from chronic chemical dependency and/or mental illness, and discontinuing the use of the Cadillac Hotel for homeless placements.

“This report will help the community better serve those that are the hardest to serve,” added Mayor Richards. “It is about time that we seek to provide emergency shelter in a mission based organization instead of using hotels.”

“This is a great collaboration,” said Carrie Michel Wynne, Housing Director, YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County. “We are fortunate in this community to have so many dedicated individuals and organizations working to address one of society’s most challenging issues.”

“This effort by the City, Monroe County and our providers of services is a great step forward in addressing homelessness of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Gillian J. Conde, Vice-President, DePaul Properties. “We can do better than we have done and this plan gives us a road map to improve lives.”

The Homelessness Resolution Strategy advisory committee has agreed to continue working together to establish the Coordinated Access System and identify potential housing providers that can expand their services to eliminate the need for the Cadillac Hotel. They will also work to develop a strategy to pursue the necessary funding for the recommendations.

The final Homelessness Resolution Strategy and additional information on existing programs that help people avoid homelessness and provide assistance to those who are homeless can be found at

News Media: For more information, contact City Director of Business and Housing Development Bret Garwood at 428-6150.