Notes from the Board

We are excited to welcome Talitha-Koumi Oluwafemi to our Board of Directors.

Talitha-Koumi Oluwafemi is a missioned-focused transformational leader, social justice advocate, community-centered coalition builder, and aspiring womanist theologian. Oluwafemi is a native of Rochester, New York who grew up in Chatham Gardens housing development in the city’s northeastern quadrant. 

Among her academic achievements, Oluwafemi has earned the following educational credentials: Master of Theology degree in Church and Society from Princeton Theological Seminary, Master of Divinity degree in Social Justice and Theology from Northeastern Seminary, and Master of Science degree in Educational Administration and Policy Studies from The University at Albany, SUNY.
Oluwafemi’s extensive professional resume and personal narrative characterizes one who embodies, employs, and exemplifies a hunger and thirst for righteousness, restorative justice and “good trouble.” She is a BIPOC agent of change, advocate for the marginalized and antiracist accomplice for all persons who are homeless, hungry, and hopelessly “othered” by society.

Oluwafemi has recently returned to Rochester to become a lead interrupter of racism at the Urban League of Rochester and she currently serves as the Senior Coordinator for the new Equity and Advocacy Division. She enthusiastically joins the REACH Advocacy Board to use her professional experience, educational background and lived expertise of homelessness to heed REACH Advocacy’s clarion call to social action and promoting housing as a human right. In her time with REACH, Oluwafemi will be joining the Development Committee and the Shelter Committee.
Thank you for Supporting us at ROC The Day

With your generous donations, we raised $1,865.20. We are grateful to our many donors, supporters and to the United Way for this opportunity.
Shelter Committee Updates
We are thrilled to be so close to opening our low-barrier winter emergency shelter. This is by far our most ambitious sheltering system yet.

The REACH Shelter will have multiple sites this year. The multiple REACH “homes” will allow our guests to have their own rooms. This will allow for a higher level of safety from COVID-19, better symptom management for mental health issues (and more personal space), and this amplifies our mission of treating all people with dignity.

There is no way to articulate our gratitude towards the amazing volunteers that are rapidly prepping all of our sites. It is truly amazing what has been accomplished. 

That being said, REACH will need a lot of volunteer assistance this year. The more sites, the more supplies, meals, and people power we will need to operate a shelter system that will ramp up to having over 50 people a night. Please keep an eye out for meal sign-ups, volunteer opportunities, and supply needs on our social media. Supply needs are also outlined in the flyer below. 

Our primary goal is to safely shelter people who have difficulty staying in the regular shelter system throughout a Rochester winter and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this time indoors with REACH will also give people the opportunity to work on other supports they may need to move forward in a positive direction. We are looking forward to a winter of growth for REACH and the people we serve.
Our Donation Wishlist
We are collecting the following items for the season. Please feel free to share this wish list.

For delivery or pick-up information, please reach out to Deb:


Tiny Home Village News

As we move into the winter months, the Tiny Home Committee has started thinking about management of the Tiny Home Village after the construction is complete. The committee found Emerald Village in Eugene, Oregon, where we found a philosophy for operating a Tiny Home Village that fits our vision. Watch this video to learn more about the Emerald Vision.

We are currently focusing on firming up our plans for workforce development. We’ve met with Catholic Family Services YouthBuild leaders and Tony DiTucci of Livingston Associates. We’ve shared our project details with Tony and had the opportunity to learn about his program to support the construction industry. We are considering using Tony’s services to help with curriculum development for both the YouthBuild and Edison Tech.

Edison Tech architecture students have started working on drawing floor plans for our Tiny Home Village. The highschool juniors will start with pencil and paper before learning their computer-aided drafting technology.

We want to recognize and express gratitude to our new Founder this month: Christine DeGolyer. Christine joins the ranks of donors who contributed $250 or more to the Tiny Home Village. 

You can become a Founder by making a designated donation to the Tiny Home project. No matter how small or large, every designated contribution helps move us toward our goal of starting construction in Spring 2022. 

You can donate today by sending a check to REACH Advocacy, Inc., P.O. Box 10845, Rochester, NY 14610.
Advocacy Opportunities and Current Events

Take Action with REACH:
We regret to inform you that the effort to create a collaborative housing justice group in Rochester has not succeeded. The REACH Advocacy Team is now meeting to explore ways in which we can advocate for housing justice for all as we believe that housing is a human right. If you're interested in learning more about these efforts, please reference last month's newsletter.

We have set up a meeting with Senator Samra Brouk, pictured to the right, in January to discuss what is going on at the State level in the funding of truly affordable homes. Samra is a former Board member of REACH.  
We have joined the City-Wide Tenants’ Union in their Stabilize Rochester Campaign. Our very own, Peter Peters, will speak at the public hearing on December 14th. 

Are You Interested in Becoming an Advocate for Housing Justice? 
We invite you to join our Advocacy Team. As a member of the Team, you will:
  • Become informed about current legislative developments related to housing justice.
  • Call or write your political representative in support of current legislative initiatives.
  • Join in actions of support with our collaborators in housing justice.

To join our Advocacy Team, please email Peter at
This Month's Reading List:

This month we're spotlighting an article by the New York Times: Why Shouldn’t Housing for the Homeless Be Beautiful? Read it here.

Would you like to join a monthly reading group focused on Housing Justice for all? We are considering hosting a reading group in the New Year. 

We invite you to join us in reading and discussing Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City in the New Year. This reading group will take place via Zoom video chat. The date and time are to be determined to suit those who sign up. If you're interested in joining, please email Peter at
Wishing you a safe, healthy, and joyful holiday season and a happy New Year from all of us at REACH Advocacy, Inc.