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City Moves Forward with Plans to Continue Day Center Operations
City of Rochester officials have decided to continue offering service at the temporary day center in Rochester for at least another month.
On Monday, City Council members voted to continue Day Center operations, citing the need to continue to provide opportunities for physical distancing for those experiencing homelessness and providing a consolidated access point for services and outreach during this time. The City Council is encouraged that the County will continue to provide onsite services.
Deputy City Administrator Aaron Parrish says the Day Center was initially stood up in response to various public facility closures, giving individuals experiencing homelessness a place to stay during the day. Many public facilities serve an important informal role for Rochester’s unsheltered homeless population. The Day Center operated out of the Mayo Civic Center starting on Monday, March 23. On March 25, Olmsted County and Catholic Charities moved their overnight Warming Center operations to the same location, giving 24-hour shelter to anyone that needed it.
“By working alongside Olmsted County and Catholic Charities as well as Mayo Civic Center, we were able to provide a much-needed service during the Stay at Home order,” explains Parrish.
Earlier this month, the Olmsted County Housing and Redevelopment Authority voted to end their contract for Warming Center services, effective May 31. Parrish says the need for the Day Center continues due to overnight operations suspended and many public buildings expected to have limits on visitors.
“We are committed to making sure vulnerable populations in our community have access to resources, and also want to make sure we’re not placing an undue burden on public facilities,” says Parrish, adding, “The Day Center will allow us to compassionately provide help to some of our most vulnerable individuals.”
Since beginning the Day Center/ Warming Center partnership, over 150 individuals have received shelter and other assistance and 23 people have been moved to more stable housing situations.
The Day Center will continue to operate out of the Mayo Civic Center’s exhibition hall, allowing for enough space to maintain social distancing of at least six feet. Channel One Regional Food Bank, The Salvation Army, The Landing, and other organizations will continue to support Day Center efforts by providing meals and other necessities.
The Day Center is open every day, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.