For one year, people have been getting major help out of a Buffalo home, all in honor of a woman who opened her doors to anyone in need.
That home is located at 670 Riley Street, and used to be owned by Louise Fitzgerald. Before her passing, Louise often brought people in for a warm meal, a hot shower and even offered beds for people to sleep in.
“There would be times where she didn’t have any money, but she had these penny jars, and there were people who needed money and she would bring down these jars to give them anything that she had,” Tesha Parker said, her granddaughter.
Now, inside Louise’s home, instead of beds, there are racks of clothing. Instead of plates and bowls, every cupboard is packed with food.
Louise’s home is now a store… but everything inside is free.
“I just want to be the person that I know she wanted me to be, and I want to be the person she had expectations for me to be,” Parker said.
Louise’s 26-year-old granddaughter, Tesha Parker, converted the home into a non-profit called Rooted in Love, Inc. Every Saturday, people can go there, free of charge and free of embarrassment, and take anything they need. No questions are asked.
The home looks just like any other house on the street. There are no large signs outside, signifying it’s any different than others on the block, which is on purpose.
“We wanted people to feel so comfortable.”
Hygene products are there as well. And if someone needs a hot shower, that’s available too.
On the last Saturday of the month, people who walk in will even find a plethora of fresh produce there.
Louise had seven kids, and the entire family helps run the home. It’s a way for them to give back, because they grew up on some tough times. It’s also a way to show what the City of Good Neighbors is all about.
“It’s just basic human rights, so who are we to determine why someone got into a situation?” Tesha said. “That’s not our business, we just really just want to show how she raised us with true compassion, and she raised us to be just such empathetic people. We all know what it’s like. And we’re here to help. No matter what happens… we’re just here.”
Tesha works a full-time job, and is currently in the middle of getting her fourth degree. She’s a busy young woman who puts most of her other energy and time into Rooted in Love. She also pays for all the hygiene products herself.
For more information on Rooted in Love, and how to donate or visit the home, click here.
If you know a Woman Leading WNY, email Kelsey.Anderson@wivb.com.