In December, 2017, after extensive research performed by two of our Advisory Board Members, it was determined that the most vulnerable group of refugees in need of assistance were male and females between the ages of 18-23. Why? They have aged out of our high-schools and tend to take low paying jobs. This is the cycle of poverty which hinders the refugees. The solution is to create an incentive, such as an opportunity to remain in school or pursue a college degree or technical skill certificate.
The Saint’s Place Scholarship Fund was established on January 3rd, 2018 with $25,000.00 raised through our Annual Patron Saint’s campaign. To assure that we were receiving the best nominations for grants, Saint’s Place aligned themselves with four organization dealing with refugees within this particular age group: Saint’s Place Tutoring Group (75 refugees attend classes); MAC, a group working with teens and young adults helping them to improve their English, find jobs, and promote educational opportunities; the Rochester International Academy teaching only refugees and OASCES, public school teaching courses in order to receive a certificate in electrical, plumbing, nursing, culinary training.
We wanted to be very specific regarding the grants. We provide new laptops to students attending MCC; we arrange via the college to pay for student’s textbooks and fees. We pay for training courses so that the refugees will be able to obtain other jobs. Finally, we contribute to partial tuition costs. All potential refugees fill out applications, must be recommended by one of the four organizations, and their progress and success are tracked through the term of the grant.
To date, it has been a most successful undertaking. We are definitely make a difference in the lives of these refugees and are witnessing first hand their academic achievements. Slowly, we are breaking the cycle of poverty. Saint’s Place is aggressively seeking additional grants to enhance the scholarship fund. The joy on the faces of the students when they receive their new laptop inspires all of us. This means that they do not have to run around trying to use the college or library computers which are always in use. They are now able to spend more time on assignments and obtain better grades. The relief and excitement refugees express to us knowing that they will receive a higher education and then gain a job is so rewarding.
Please help us to continue our work.
46 South Main Street
Pittsford, NY 14534
Open Monday-Thursday 8:30 - 4:00
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.