A Rochester day center has been created for people facing homelessness amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City of Rochester, Olmsted County and local nonprofits have joined forces in the effort to create a temporary center that will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily in the Mayo Civic Center Exhibition Hall.
“Community members are really stepping up and helping us address these critical needs at such a critical time,” Rochester Mayor Kim Norton said in a statement announcing the center's opening on Monday.
During the open hours, individuals or families experiencing homelessness will have access to the space and also food, water and bathrooms. The hours provide shelter while the Rochester Community Warming Center is open from 8 p.m to 8 a.m. daily.
Rochester Public Library Director Audrey Betcher said staff from throughout city government will be working at the day center.
“We opened the call out to library teammates first to make sure we had people to help run the day center, and members of our team volunteered right away.” she said.
The library's been closed since March 18.
Food for the day center is being provided by Channel One, the Salvation Army, The Landing and local restaurants, coordinated by Powers Ventures. Meanwhile, the library is providing books, and the Mayo Civic Center is providing wi-fi access for visitors.
“We are committed to doing what we can to support the vulnerable in our community,” Norton said.