Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Western New York utilities are reporting some 15,000 customers without power Monday morning, after strong winds and heavy rain swept through the area Sunday. West Seneca Central Schools are also closed Monday because of the widespread outages.

Buffalo's two downtown homeless shelters were crowded Sunday night, as another Code Blue was declared, with the snow and cold.

Tom Dinki/WBFO News

Brandon Carrizales, 33, volunteered at Thursday’s Project Homeless Connect Buffalo, wearing a uniform blue t-shirt and directing homeless people to service providers set up around the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.


Two years ago, he was one of those homeless people attending the event and looking for services.


Indiegogo / Buffalo Rising

Larry Bierl, the homeless man whose body was discovered in an NFTA Metro Bus shelter in Williamsville Thursday, died of hypothermia. His cause of death was determined following an autopsy by the Erie County Medical Examiner. Meanwhile, a fundraiser has been established to honor the memory of Bierl by supporting a not-for-profit agency which assists homeless people.

Indiegogo / Buffalo Rising

For several days before this storm blew its way into town, Erie County officials were warning people to be careful in the expected bitter cold, strong winds and heavy snow. On Thursday, they announced three deaths.

The first blizzard of 2019 has taken three lives in total, including a well-known Williamsville man who was homeless.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

For Buffalo's homeless, the weather forecast predicts this will be a very tough week. WBFO's Mike Desmond visited the two principal Code Blue shelters: St. Luke's Mission of Mercy and Harbor House Resource Center.

Ronald Peralta / WBFO News

"The premise of Code Blue is that no one can be turned away and it's been hugely successful."

That was Nadia Pizarro, director of Best Self Homeless Services and co-chair of the Western New York Coalition for the Homeless, announcing the start of another Code Blue season.

Ronald Peralta/WBFO News

This week the annual Project Homeless Connect took place at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. The event is produced and hosted every year by the Western New York Coalition for the Homeless to provide a wide variety of services for those in need, all in one place.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The Code Blue shelters were open and crowded Monday night, as the system tried to persuade homeless people to get inside and get a hot meal amidst desperate cold.

Donations of socks & gloves needed for area homeless

Jan 31, 2018
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Several agencies are partnering for a collection drive to gather up two of the most requested items for area homeless. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says it is a sock and glove drive.  

Buffalo City Mission

The Buffalo City Mission says the demand for its help is continuing to rise, but its current fund drive is running very behind.

A Buffalo man has been arraigned in the death of a homeless man.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

With the arrival of colder temperatures, the City of Buffalo has implemented Code Blue, the city's emergency weather safety plan for the homeless.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Social and human service workers have carried out a two-part campaign to raise awareness of teen homelessness in the region.

Homeless agencies and service providers in Western New York are gathering Monday to launch a survey to gather statistics on homeless youth.

A community group that distributes free meals to the homeless in Lafayette Square was dispersed by police last Monday for not having a permit to do so.

New NYS budget holds line on homeless funding

Apr 13, 2017
National Public Radio File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says among the items approved in the new state budget is $20 billion for New York's homeless. This includes $2.5 billion "to advance the creation of 100,000 new affordable and 6,000 supportive housing units."

However, after a review of legislative figures, that appears to hold the line on funding for New York's five-year plan against homelessness. This comes at a time when demand is continuing to rise, according to a couple of local advocates.

For the twelfth straight year, the Buffalo Dream Center and Hearts for the Homeless teamed up to feed individuals and families in need.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

Most Western New Yorkers were warm in their homes as winter weather blew through the region. Nadia Pizarro was in a Matt Urban Hope Center white van looking for the homeless, as a Code Blue prompted efforts to persuade the homeless to come inside, stay warm and get a hot meal.

A Lake Effect Snow Warning has been issued for Erie and Genesee Counties, from 1 p.m. today through 1 a.m. Thursday. Tony Ansuini of the National Weather Service expects heavy snow and strong winds will make for a difficult afternoon commute.

Rich Kellman

Thanksgiving is a time for many of us to take a break and be grateful for the good things we have. But for those on the streets without the basics of life, the holiday can be especially difficult. WBFO contributor Rich Kellman paid a visit to a homeless shelter in Buffalo that has given new hope and a new start to those most in need.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The people who administer the winter homeless emergency program known as Code Blue are preparing for another season. But this year, there are significant changes including new venues where homeless will be taken.


A recent study by anti-poverty groups in Toronto suggests the city is lurching toward a breakdown because of overcrowded homeless shelters. Activists say the city is failing to meet the basic requirements of its homeless population.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

More than a dozen local not-for-profits who work to get homeless people off the streets are receiving money from Uncle Sam to continue their missions.

WBFO News File Photo

Governor Cuomo's mandate to take homeless people off the streets and into shelters when frigid temperatures strike has raised some questions among those who work with homeless individuals. 

WBFO News File Photo

With Buffalo and cities across New York bracing for some of the coldest temperatures yet this winter, Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered more protection for the state’s homeless citizens.

Local advocacy groups have partnered to try to end chronic homelessness in Buffalo, which they say it down significantly in recent years.

Victim of homeless violence speaks out

Nov 2, 2015
Google Earth

WBFO recently reported on an alarming spike in violent attacks against Buffalo's homeless population. Now, one victim is speaking out.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A piece of artwork, rejected by some cities, has been installed at Cathedral Park in downtown Buffalo. St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral purchased the 'Homeless Jesus' bronze statue. As WBFO's Eileen Buckley reports, the unveiling sparked a buzz among some citizens.