February 2021

Housing is a Human Right
Notes from the Board
  • We heard a presentation by Kim Smith the local organizer for VOCAL NY.
  • We received with regret a letter of resignation from Susan Maxwell.
  • We acknowledged a note from Samra Brouk who is a recently elected State Senator and will not be able to fulfill the role of a Board member. Samra wishes to stay connected to REACH and the Board his designated her as an Honorary Director of REACH. She will be welcome to attend and speak, but without voting rights.
  • The Executive Committee reported that it is actively seeking to fill the two vacant positions on our Board.
  • We reviewed and commented on A Vision for REACH Advocacy prepared by Andy and Peter.
  • Board members chose their committee assignments for the coming year. We now have at least two Board members on each of the standing committees: Advocacy (not meeting as a committee but members will collaborate with the newly formed Rochester Housing Justice Alliance) Audit, Finance, Marketing & Fundraising, Shelter, and Tiny Homes.
Shelter Committee

The shelter committee continues to be in discussion with the Coptic Christian Community with regards to the usage if 720 West Main Street, as well as active in supplying the “Outreach Zone” efforts in the community. Even without a REACH Shelter, the REACH Shelter Committee has remained active and relevant in supporting the housing deprived and most vulnerable people in our community.
            We are looking forward to 720 West Main St being utilized as a container for many needed services in the West Main Area and an emergency shelter in the winter. We are currently working through the governance of such a project (Lease, insurance, etc). We are very excited about the possibilities.
            The Outreach Zone work continues in the Jefferson Ave (SWAN at Montgomery Center) and North Clinton (Father Tracy Advocacy Center) areas. The Outreach Zone work is touching hundreds of people and this could not be done without the support of the REACH Shelter Committee. The REACH Network has provided thousands of dollars in in-kind supplies; from lunches and snacks to hats, gloves, socks, hygiene items, etc. These supplies are critical to meet the basic needs of the people in the Outreach Zones. They also provide an opportunity to discuss further longer enduring services. This initiative has been an amazing way to reach people “where they are at”.
            Things are looking very promising for the future and the shelter committee is ready.

Andy Carey and Deborah Peife
The Tiny Home Committe
Reports that:

  • A business plan for theTiny Home Village has been completed.

  • A Mission/Vision/Value Statement has been written and approved by committee members.

  • A meeting was held with Mitch Gruber from City Council, Paul Scuderi from City Real Estate, Dana Miller, Director of Development Services for the City and Linda Hedden from City Housing. All stated they want to see this project succeed and provided us with information as to next steps in obtaining property and approval for the project. A number of action items were generated from the meeting and we will begin to complete these items and gather the required information requested by the city.

  • We have identified the areas around the property that we will be canvassing in the Spring as well as individuals we still need to meet with to share information regarding our Tiny Home Village. Plans remain in effect to have community informational meetings in the Spring of this year,

  • The Tiny Home Village 2021 work plan has been completed.

  • Grants: See Development subcommittee report

Respectfully submitted Susan Maxwell –Chair

We have learned that $864 was collected by the Abundance Food Co-op who designated REACH Advocacy as the January recipient of their 2021 Round Up Program. A big thank you to all involved.
For more information of the Abundance Food Co-op click here.
New Founding Members this past month donated $5697.77. Thank you! This brings the total donation by our Founders to the Tiny Home Village Fund to $40,134.77. Can readers help us get this amount to $50,000?
Here are this month's new Founder donors:
Jane and Michael Bleeg
Larry Griswold
Mary and Keith Hadley
Dulcy Lecour and Chuck Fujita
Miryam Matulic-Keller and Boris Keller
Dr. George McVey
Michele and Bruce Nichols
Sarah Peters
The Very Rev. Prince Singh
Trinity Emmanuel Lutheran Church
We want to add the following names of people or organizations who contributed more than $250 to the Tiny Home Village Fund before last November:
Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Bliss Owen
St. John's Episcopal Church, Canandaigua
We have a long way to go, but these Founders have voted in favor of our Tiny Home Village as a way to offer truly affordable and supportive housing to housing deprived men and women of our community.

If you would like to become a Tiny Home Village Founder by making a donation of $250 or more, please send your check to REACH Advocacy, P.O. Box 10845, Rochester, NY 14610 and mark your check "Tiny Home Fund". Thank you, every gift helps us to get to our goal.

As of today we have $95,726.79 toward our target of $250,000 for the building of the first phase of our Tiny Home Village.
We cannot end this report from the Tiny Home Committee without saying a big thank you to Susan Maxwell who has chaired this Committee for the past almost three years.

Susan has successfully steered this committee in making solid plans for the construction of the Tiny Home Village. It has been a daunting task to lay the foundation for this almost $800,000 project.

Susan's skill as a team leader is clearly seen as each member of the committee rose to the occasion when asked to contribute to a next step in the process.

Thank you Susan for a job well done. We know, as you have said, you are not leaving the REACH family, but that you needed to take a personal break. We wish you well.
Advocacy Opportunities etc.

  • Check this out: A Case for A Social Housing Authority. If we want to change the narrative around housing, here is something to help us with the conversation. Housing that is solely subject to market forces will never be just housing if we believe that housing is a human right.
  • Sponsor a REACH presentation in your faith community or other organization. We have presentations on The History of REACH, The Tiny Home Village project, and "The Housing Crisis and Communities of Faith". For information and to book a date for any of these contact our Secretary, Sarah Peters at

Thank you for your interest and support of REACH.
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