The Upper Room of Erie

Special Projects

Blizzard of Blankets

The Blizzard of Blankets is our oldest project, begun in the fall of 1995. We conduct a public awareness campaign and then, on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, collect new or used blankets in good condition. This event is held at the Perry Square gazebo. The blankets collected are distributed free of charge to those people and agencies in need.

Erie County Emergency Warming Shelter

We work in conjuction with the Mental Health Association(MHA) across 11th street from us. When the temperature will drop to 25 degrees, we stay open until 11:00PM. The Warming Center at MHA opens from 11:00PM until 7:00AM.

Documentary Photographic Project

We conduct an annual contest among our homeless friends to motivate them to see their situation thru the lens of a camera. The results are now on display in the shelter. Visitors are encouraged to view these photographs.

Annual Beach Party

Each summer, we sponsor a day at the beaches of beautiful Presque Isle State Park. A shelter is reserved and round trip transportation by van is provided by one of our sponsoring organizations. Our clients enjoy the sunshine, games, swimming, food and fellowship.

Dan Passerotti Award for Benevolent Service

The Dan Passerotti Award is presented annually to individuals and organizations who have made special contributions to the Upper Room by providing assistance and support over an extended period.This award is named after a homeless man whose plight led to the establishment of the Upper Room.

Dan PasserottiThe Danny Awards made their debut in the fall of 2011. Although he was homeless (by his own choice), Danny lived a full if unusual life. He visited us almost daily from our opening day till he could no longer take care of himself and was hospitalized, at least 10 years. During his time with us he most enjoyed art and painting. He read extensively about his favorite artists.

Not content to read about art, Danny loved to paint, and he painted the same basic picture for as long as we knew him. Any extra money he had went to buying color markers which he used to paint flowers in a vase on a table, sometimes with apples or other things at hand, using any paper he could find. Perhaps Van Gogh was his favorite artist. He never said. He wasn’t much for talking.

The 2011 Danny awards honored fourteen business or individuals. Recipients were: Michael Amory and Denise Kubiak (Mercyhurst Prep), Betty and Bill Filipkowski, Nancy Zimmerman (Mercyhurst Prep), Jim Schreiber (Grace Church), Cindy Iacovetta (First Alliance Church), Alice Niebauer (St. Paul’s UCC),Tom Toale (Frontier Pharmacy), Bishop Donald Trautman (breakfast program), Sean Bean ( YMCA of Erie), Erin Harmle ( Panera Bread Co)., Dr. Lee Simon DDS, Msgr Henry Kriegel (St. Patrick Church), Tom Chido Jr.( Chido Cleaners), and Julie Glazer (Sidewalk Café).