(585) 454-6696 156 Plymouth Ave • Rochester, NY PRAY FOR ME GET HELP NOW


8 Ways to Help

“Will work for food.”

“I just need change for the bus...”

“Can you help a hungry old lady out?”

“Can I bum a smoke?”

We have all experienced this at least once. Do you remember the last time you encountered a homeless person?

How did you react? Did you look away? Did you ignore them as if they were invisible? Or worse, did you say something hurtful like “...get a job?”

It’s difficult to come face-to-face with such profound suffering and not have a strong reaction. With every homeless person you encounter, understand that there is most likely a very long and sad story. Nobody wakes up one morning and decides to be homeless. You just are.

Here are some recommendations for next time you encounter a homeless individual:

1. Take precautions for your safety

Some people who live on the streets may not be safe to interact with because they suffer from mental or emotional illnesses. Trust your instincts and don’t take chances. If you encounter an individual you believe to be dangerous, homeless or not, please make every attempt to avoid contact. If you believe that a person is in need of immediate emergency attention, please call 911.

2. Recognize that homeless people (and their problems) are not all the same

Homelessness does not discriminate. The person you meet may be a battered woman, an addicted veteran, someone who is lacking job skills or may have a mental illness....the list is endless, but many of the problems can be solved at the Mission.

3. Share God’s love

What Would Jesus Do?” If Jesus were walking the earth today, He would certainly reach out and spend time with homeless people. He would speak with them, heal them and help them in whatever they needed. Those who believe in and follow Him should do the same.

4. Be respectful

By taking the time to talk in a friendly, respectful manner can give homeless people a sense of civility and dignity. Show compassion.

5. Never give cash to a homeless person

Even well-intended gifts may be converted to drugs or alcohol. If a homeless person is hungry offer to buy them a sandwich and beverage or just refer them to the Open Door Mission Samaritan House Crisis Housing Center located at 210 West Main Street where meals are served daily at 6:45 p.m.

6. Point the way to the Open Door Mission

The Open Door Mission provides emergency food and shelter at Samaritan House Crisis Housing Center (210 West Main St.) and a long-term rehabilitation through the Christian Life Recovery Program at the Caring Center (156 North Plymouth Ave.) You can also offer a homeless person an OPEN DOOR MEAL TICKET, which you can obtain, free, from the Open Door Mission Caring Center.

7. Support the Open Door Mission

We depend on the gifts of caring individuals, churches and businesses, civic groups and foundations for the majority of our funding. Without these private, tax-deductible gifts we wouldn't be able to feed, shelter and care for our community's hurting and vulnerable people. Learn how you can help as a volunteer or to become a regular financial partner today.

8. Pray for the homeless and less fortunate people

Malnutrition, exposure to the elements, street violence, lack of medical care, poor hygiene and the lack of purpose all drain years from a person's life. The simplest and easiest way to help the homeless is to constantly keep them in your prayers. The next time you encounter a homeless individual, pray for them, your prayers may be the only “blanket” to keep them warm. God can use your prayers to bring many of the broken to Him.

Praise & Prayer Requests

We thank you for your desire to join with us regularly in our prayers to God regarding every area of service at the Open Door Mission.


  • God’s continued provision for the Mission through our faithful donors and volunteers.
  • God’s help as we serve homeless and needy men, women and families every day.
  • Praise to God for the life-changing victories among our Mission guests and Christian Life Recovery Program students.

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for all the homeless individuals who experience depression and hopelessness because of separation from family and friends each day.
  • Pray that our Mission guests will find hope and victory over bad choices and addictions through the power of Jesus in their lives.
  • Pray for God’s wisdom for the Mission Board and leadership as they continue to seek out ways to improve and expand on existing services.
  • Pray for God to lead the poor families who battle hunger and poverty and find their way to the Mission for needed food and assistance.
  • Pray for God’s protection and good physical health for the Mission staff as they work long hours to provide for extra needs during these difficult times in our economy.
  • Pray for mothers and their children who are in need of clothing and food today. Pray for God’s hand of protection over them and pray with urgency that we might soon be able to help improve their situation, their outlook and their relationship with the Lord our God.

It would be helpful if you let us know if there are any groups with whom you are sharing these needs. Any information you provide will only be used to keep our expanding prayer network updated. If you indicate a desire to pray for urgent Mission needs, we would be happy to email you with updates on specific events and needs as they arise. Thank you for your prayers!

If you have any urgent needs that we can be praying for in our devotional time, please email them to our CONTACT US page.