No mail for two months, disaster averted

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While “neither rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night” is often used to describe the dependability of the U.S. Postal Service, a technical glitch apparently held up delivery to a Buffalo homeless shelter.

The Little Portion Friary on Main Street went without mail delivery for two months. That is two months they did not get their utility bills, nor checks from donors to pay those bills, nor important notices to carry on the charity’s business.

Sister Barbara Pfohl who coordinates Little Portion Friary’s activities, said the shelter closed out a post office box it had for more than 30 years, but the mail was not being delivered to the new mailbox they had just installed at the shelter.

Pfohl said using the post office box at the downtown Ellicott Station on Washington Street was inconvenient for the volunteer staff and their clients.

“It was really a hardship for them to do that. So we said, why not just have it delivered to the house? So we set that up.”

During the two month void, donations to the Little Portion Friary have been off by about 10 percent, and even the 29 guests who stay there have been affected.

“Like their health insurance notifications, telling them they are eligible to receive certain benefits, an announcement that says we have an apartment for you.”

Call 4 Action contacted the U.S. Postal Service, and spokesperson Karen Mazurkiewicz emailed a statement, apologizing for the shelter’s two week ordeal and cited a technical glitch, “An error in the coding was corrected and all employees have been updated on the proper handling for their mail.”

More importantly Mazurkiewicz wrote, “The Postal Service has been working with Little Portion Friary and confirmed delivery has resumed.”

Sister Barbara found the answer to the Friary’s prayers stuffed in that new mailbox, “This is the most mail we have ever gotten. We usually only get one or two pieces.” The delivery including bills, and at least one donation check to pay them.

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