After a yearlong search process, the board of directors for the House of Mercy, a homeless shelter in Rochester, has named Tammy Butler as the ministry’s new executive director.
Butler replaces Mercy Sister Grace Miller, who founded the ministry and will remain at the house in the role of spiritual director.
Butler most recently served as program director at Coordinated Care Services Inc., an organization that focuses on behavioral health and human services. During the course of her career, Butler has worked to improve outcomes for people living with substance use and mental illness. She helped establish the first alcohol and substance use disorder Recovery Community Center in Rochester. She also founded a nonprofit organization to help individuals and families move beyond the trauma of addiction, incarceration, untreated/undertreated mental illness, poverty, racism, gender inequality and broken relationships. Butler has a PhD in executive leadership from St. John Fisher College.
“It is a tremendous honor to take on this position at House of Mercy,” Butler said in a March 3 press release announcing her appointment. “I have great regard for Sister Grace and the mission and values of the House of Mercy. I am thankful for this opportunity to continue my career in service to the needs of those who are often overlooked by society.”
Sister Miller founded the House of Mercy in 1984 using a small grant from the Sisters of Mercy. The shelter was located at two different sites on Central Avenue before moving to Hudson Avenue in 1994. In 2017, the shelter moved to its current location, a 6,000-square-foot facility on Ormond Street.
The shelter serves up to 82 individuals each night and provides 9,000 meals each month for families and individuals who are hungry. In addition to food, shelter and clothing, the House of Mercy also offers social services, housing assistance and medical care, and it also supports the burial of indigent people.