Couple donates $100,000 to Rochester warming center

Created: January 13, 2020 10:56 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Ever since the Rochester Community Warming Center opened its doors in December, it's served as a beacon of hope.

"We have a good heart for the people that are not as fortunate as us," said Ron Yanish.

Ron and his wife Dianne want to keep that hope alive so they donated $100,000 to Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota's warming center.

"The apartments in Rochester are so expensive that as a single person, I don't know how they can afford to rent," Dianne Yanish said. 

The couple's history of service goes back to the 1980s when they helped put up the Dorothy Day Hospitality House. 

"People did not want [those who face homelessness] in their neighborhood," Dianne said. "It was important for us to find them a place where they were wanted."

They've lived in the area for 47 years and said homelessness has grown.

"I don't remember seeing people on the streets when we first moved here," Dianne said. "Now, you see them on the corners begging."

Last year's brutal winter brought a record 158 people to the Rochester Salvation Army warming shelter. Some found comfort inside the skyways but a recent city ordinance now bans overnight stays.

The couple just hopes others can pass on this act of kindness.

"If people see you give... they say well maybe I could help with that, too," Ron said. "It's obvious the need is there." 

Keeping hope and the push for a better tomorrow alive. 

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