Saint’s Place is a volunteer organization, based on Christian values, that provides household goods, clothing and education to legal refugees of all races and creeds who resettle in Rochester to escape violence, discrimination and poverty.
Founded in 1998, Saint’s Place assists hundreds of refugees who arrive in Rochester each year from around the world. Individuals served are legal immigrants arriving through the refugee and immigration department of the Catholic Family Center who have been forced to leave their homelands. Most have suffered unbearable conditions and unthinkable tragedies, arriving with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and vivid memories of the horrors they have faced. Saint’s Place provides these families with the basic necessities and support they need to start their lives over in the community.
Saints Place offers:
–Support for refugee families-Saint’s Place provides each arriving refugee family with everything necessary to settle into their new home, as well as ongoing support and friendship. Saint’s Place furnishes the basics to help these families start their new life in Rochester, including beds, dressers, tables, chairs, lamps, sofas, appliances, television and radio, linens, kitchen items, clothing, cleaning supplies, toiletries, books and school supplies. In 2006-2007 Saint’s Place supported 325 families from 26 countries.
–Tutoring program-Volunteer tutors work one-on-one with refugee children and adults each week to teach English, math and other school subjects. Tutors also act as advocates for the students on many levels. In 2006-2007 Saint’s Place tutored dozens of refugee children and adults from Turkey, Liberia, Somalia and the Sudan.
–Child care center-Saint’s Place child care center provides refugee children ages 18 months to 5 years old with a safe, loving environment specifically designed to meet their unique social and cultural needs. A language-rich, academically based program helps prepare these children for a successful transition into the public school system. The child care center is located within a Rochester City School District facility. While their children are in the care of Saint’s Place, refugee parents can attend English language and job-training classes within the same facility to acquire the education and skills needed to find employment and become self-sufficient. In 2006-2007, 19 children were enrolled.
The director of Saint’s Place is Colleen Knauf. The organization employs Michelle Quinn, volunteer coordinator; Frances Barr, business manager and child care center director; Jina Rakoski, child care lead teacher – toddler; and Cara Fisher, principal and lead teacher – preschool. There also are two assistant teachers and an assistant to the director.
Financial Record Year ended June 30, 2007
Monroe County Department of Social Services $56,348 27
Grants 48,850 23
Fundraising 33,623 16
Individual donations 32,398 16
United Way of Greater Rochester Inc. 15,217 7
St. Louis Church 12,676 6
New York State – Child and Adult Food Care Program 10,452 5
Total revenue $209,564 100
Operations $125,549 60
Administration 84,015 40
Total expenses $209,564 100
Excess (deficiency) of revenue over expenses $0
Frances Barr; business manager and child care center director, Saint’s Place
John Barr; chief marketing officer, Hillside Family of Agencies
Larry McKnight; marketing manager, Connection Technology Center Inc.
Colleen Knauf; director, Saint’s Place
Kevin Murphy; pastor, St. Louis Church
John Oberlies; retired president and chief operating officer, Rochester Health Commission
John Payne; deacon, St. Louis Church
Susan Kuhn; administrative assistant, Electronic Data Systems Corp.
Patricia Spinelli; volunteer vice principal, tutor program, Saint’s Place
Peter Spinelli; attorney, Harris Beach PLLC
Ann Ward; volunteer
-Researched by Lynne P. Cody
02/29/08 (C) Rochester Business Journal