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.