"I came to the Open Door Mission after leaving my mother’s house. I gave up my apartment just over a year ago at my family’s request to move in with my 94 year old mother who is suffering from dementia. I was in a nursing home recovering from foot surgery and all set to move into my own apartment. I agreed, as my mother needed someone she was close with. Up until I moved in with her, my niece was taking her to church and shopping but my mother kept accusing her of stealing. It was hard as she was very forgetful. Every time she misplaced something she would accuse me of stealing. Because I was the only one there it was easy for her to blame me and when she did find her misplaced things she would never acknowledge that she was wrong, the dementia and her pride prevented her from apologizing. 

As things became progressively worse between me and my mother, I decided it would be best to move out. I love her and did not want to argue with her. I came to The Open Door Mission until I could find a
place to live. 

Now when I visit my mother we get along much better because I am not there all the time. Now when she misplaces things she says she must have misplaced it, she doesn’t think it’s me now. Open Door Mission gave me a home when no one in my family offered one to me.. It was hurtful because I was the only one who was willing to take care of my mother during her time of need.

I will be moving into my own apartment next week in Corn Hill. It’s very convenient since my mother lives in the same neighborhood. I will be able to check in on her and have continue a healthy relationship with her.  

The Open Door Mission is family to me. I worked here after I graduated over 30 years ago. They have been here for me not only as an employer but as a support system when I needed it most. Coming to stay here after leaving my mother’s was like coming home. The Open Door Mission will never turn you away." - Bernard




"I came to the Open Door Mission after leaving my ex-girlfriend. She was going to take her and her children and move into a homeless shelter. I told her that I would move instead. The Open Door Mission has been wonderful as temporary transitional housing for me while I look for an apartment of my own. 

I have been at Open Door Mission since January 2017, about 6 months now and I just got my own apartment this past week. Currently I work as a house cleaner for an assisted living place in the city which I really enjoy. In the past, I worked for the City of Rochester and also as a security guard for quite some time.

I quit drinking 10 years ago so for me The Open Door has been more of a support as I transition. I am from Rochester and was raised in the Central Park area. I have family in Rochester, my mom and sister along with nieces and nephews. 

I also have 3 adult children that I love close to in Rochester, two boys, 37 and 32, and my daughter 23, she is going to school for nursing. I am so proud of her.

The Open Door Mission has given me the opportunity to get back up on my feet and get an apartment with plenty of support. We all work together here and I have made a lot of friends who are like an extended family. We keep an eye on one another and help one another out when needed. 

The staff is great here – they keep the guys in check and make sure we are safe, warm and fed.

We are not out getting in trouble, being tempted or drinking at bars. I am thankful that I have a place like Open Door Mission to stay while shifting into a new home of my own." - David




"Ten years ago I was stabbed by a drug dealer on Chili Avenue. I lost my eye during that incident – this is where my crack-cocaine addiction had led me.  I am not really a street person. A lot of times I would get picked on when I tried to buy drugs because I didn't act like a street person. The called me soft, but I am humble and people see that as a weakness.In the streets you're supposed to walk with a chip on your shoulder all the time. That just wasn't me, I try to stay away from violence so I don't get shot or killed. Today I pray every day, I even go to church regulary and enjoy hearing and reading the word of God.

I suffer from depression and have been diagnosed for bipolar and major depression. I take medications regularly and stay out of trouble. These diseases have left me unemployed.

I am originally from Buffalo, I have been in Rochester for about ten years. It was ten years ago that I first came to The Open Door Mission. I stayed for about a week. Over the years Open Door Mission has been a support for me. Most recently I lived on Lyell Ave. and Murray St. in Rochester. It is an area filled with prostitution, drugs, and violence. I was in a weak place and found myself indulging in that lifestyle again

I wasn't happy and knew that I needed to get away and get on my feet. I talked with the staff at Open Door Mission and was able to stay for a week while I looked for an apartment. Open Door Mission helped me to find the studio I am moving into this week. The great thing is that it is near Open Door Mission and I can still receive the loving support of a family and God in an area that is free from bad influences on the street. 

My new apartment is free from negativity and is very quiet. There is no drug activity and it is a very safe environment where I can sleep soundly at night. I am so happy, I have a shot now. 

My main goal is keeping clean from drugs and going back to work part-time in the food service industry. When people work, they feel better about themselves. My future looks brighter already. I believe that as long as I pray to God and stay around good people that good things are going to happen. If it wasn’t for God I wouldn’t be in this room right now. The Open Door Mission is a place that I can read the Bible, pray and have a relationship with God. Open Door Mission is clean, there is no drug activity, they watch everyone, and help me.The staff is very helpful and very humble. I am so thankful for Open Door Mission." - LaRoy