New Year  Message from our Executive Director

                  Isabel  Miller


 

Dear Saint's Place Friends,


As the New Year starts, there are so many joyous events to tell you.  In 2018, we are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Saint's Place.  This Ministry which has brought so much comfort to so many refugees over the years, owes you a major debt of gratitude.  We could not be able to "welcome the stranger" without your continuous and generous support.

Whether it was money, winter coats, or a microwave oven, you kept the needs of the refugees close to your heart and for that we are forever grateful.


With the Executive ban still curtailing the arrival of refugees to the Rochester area, Saint's Place has focused on helping refugees already living in Rochester.  Refugees that are living in poverty. struggling to pay rent, buy food and purchase clothing. Children grow and need more clothing, vacuum cleaners break, wear and tear on sofas, all expenses the newly arrived refugees can not afford.  During the last four months we have been actively working to help in these areas.  Our Clothing Closet is averaging about 165 shoppers every month.


The donations from the community have been so caring and I might add so different.   We received from the Church of the Atonement, 720 pairs of new socks, all sorted and ready to give to the refugees at our Clothing Closet.  The Mosaic Church took it upon themselves to host a square dance, and we were the beneficiary of $500. 


Your concern and support for the plight of refugees continues to motivate us to do more and advocate more for the refugees.  With the Holy Spirit guiding our Ministry, we are optimistic  that 2018, our 20th Anniversary year  will be a remarkable year.


                                                                                      Thank you , 

                                                                    Isabel Miller






                                                                 


 

ISABEL MILLER

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Through the vision of Colleen Knauf, the foundress of Saint's Place, a dream definitely became a reality.  Nineteen years ago, Colleen volunteered through her Church, St. Louis, to assist a Somalian family. She was shocked at how little the family had and how much they needed.  At that moment Saint's Place took shape. 


Colleen began to ask for donations to help the refugees in the Rochester area.  The number of volunteers grew but so did the number of newly arriving refugees.  After several different locations, Colleen was given the house at 46 South Main Street to run the Ministry of Saint's Place.


At that point in time, Colleen and her band of volunteers were assisting well over 300 refugees from all over the world.


Five years ago, St. John of Rochester donated five classrooms to Saint's Place.  It is there that we house our Clothing Closet, Sorting Room and Household set up operations.

Saint's Place has three specific programs which assist newly arrived legal refugees in the Rochester area. We help over 1250 refugees on a yearly basis.  They arrive with virtually the shirt on their backs and devastating memories of war, famine or ethnic cleansing.  They have left their country and families in hope  of finding a better life in the United States.


We provide the refugees with clothing against the harsh winters of Rochester as well as seasonal clothing located at St. John of Rochester.  Each refugee is personally assisted by a volunteer.  Dignity is the operative word at Saint's Place.


We provide household setups for the refugees' apartments.  Each refugee receives a new bed, frame, pillow and bedding together with all of the other necessary household items to transform a place into their home.  Each year we set up over 250-300 apartments.


We conduct tutorial programs at The Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit and Guardian Angel Church.  Adults learn to speak English and are educated on how to apply for jobs, citizenship exams, etc.  School age children receive help with their homework.  We tutor over 100 refugees a week.