Saturday 26 November 2022
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Rochester’s House of Mercy is Under New Leadership

Staff Report

Dr. Tammy Butler. Photo from

Since its foundation in 1984, Rochester’s House of Mercy after searching for over a year, has announced new leadership.

Agency board of directors appointed Dr. Tammy Butler as the new executive director, who has formal background in human services and behavioral health. Officials said Butler brings a wealth of professional experience to the shelter and demonstrates excellence in ethics, professional development, industry collaboration and public service.

“We have every confidence that Dr. Tammy Butler is the right person at this moment in time as our House of Mercy guests grapple with exactly the challenges that she has dedicated her professional life to,” said Ed Hourihan, House of Mercy Board President. 

Butler is a trainer in the emerging field of Professional Recovery Coaching and founded a nonprofit organization to help individuals and families move beyond the trauma of addiction, incarceration, un/undertreated mental illness, poverty, racism, gender inequality and broken relationships. 

Holding the belief that there are numerous pathways to recovery, Butler helped establish the first alcohol and substance use disorder Recovery Community Center in Rochester.  She most recently served as a program director at Coordinated Care Services.

Butler said she is thankful for the opportunity to lead the organization and continue her career in service to the needs of those who are often overlooked by society.

“It is a tremendous honor to take on this position at House of Mercy,” said Butler. “I have great regard for Sister Grace and the mission and values of the House of Mercy.”

The mission’s founder, Sister Grace Miller will remain in the role of spiritual director.

Sister Grace, over thirty years ago after trying to find housing for three homeless men one cold winter night in Rochester. She spent the evening driving the men from shelter to shelter, only to be told there was no room for any of them. Months later, with a small grant from the Sisters of Mercy, Sister Grace purchased a single-family house for the “House of Mercy” shelter on Central Park. They later moved to a larger house on Hudson Avenue and then expanded to the Ormond Street state-of-the-art facility.

“Through it all, Sister Grace has been a champion for Rochester’s homeless—always there to welcome, listen, advocate and share spiritual guidance. In her new role as Spiritual Director, she will continue to provide all of these services and ensure that the welcoming culture for which House of Mercy is known endures,” according to a recent press release.

Today, the shelter assists up to 82 people nightly and provides 9,000 meals every month for families and individuals in need of food. The shelter also offers social services, housing assistance, medical care and supports the burial of indigent people in addition to food, shelter and clothing.

To learn more about the House of Mercy, visit