Notes from the Board
This month, the Board would like to extend a thank you to the following donors:

REACH has received a grant from the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester for $7,500 to help support the construction of the REACH Tiny Home Village.

A special thank you to our Founders:
In lieu of spending on Christmas presents for each other, John and Mary Bellini, John’s daughters, Jaime Vassalo, Kristi Rehberg, Lindsey Curatalo, and Nancy Bellini, John’s sister, have donated to the REACH Tiny Home Village.
Shelter Committee
Meet Our Guests

In this section of the newsletter, we will be featuring some of our REACH Home guests. This month, we are introducing guest Tamantha Williamson.
Tamantha recently became a guest at our REACH Home. She is a mother and lifelong learner filled with compassion and she was kind enough to sit with Peter Peters to share a little about her story.

One of our favorite quotes from Tamantha is one she shared when speaking about REACH. Tamantha said: “I am here, and God has me here for a reason. I broke down in my first night. Being here gives me a time to reconnect with myself.” 

Click here to read more about Tamantha and her journey.
Shelter Updates

All REACH sites are up and running and the Shelter Committee is happy to report that a sense of community is developing. Guests, staff, volunteers and social workers are working together to maintain a positive atmosphere.

As part of our community building efforts, the interns from MC Collaborative published the first in-house REACH Home Newsletter. They will be holding regular coffee hours and developing other activities for our guests. You can take a look at our first ever REACH Home Newsletter here.

Supply Donations Needed

Operating scattered sites requires many supplies so we are always looking for donations. We have included a list of our most needed items if you would like to help. In addition, we have an Amazon gift registry Click the photo below to open as a PDF, download, and share.

As always, we appreciate your continued support.  
Tiny Home Village News
It’s been a busy month for the Tiny Home Committee. We met with key players from the City, including a representative from the Mayor’s office. Our project has generated a lot of excitement among his office and the administrative offices, who support the Mayor.

The most significant push during the meeting was to obtain site control. Large funders want to see we have site control before providing grants, but the City wants us to fund the first phase before gaining site control. 

Our newest committee member, Tom Griener, is a retired real estate attorney with Nixon Peabody. His attendance at the meeting allowed us to push forward to obtain a Letter of Intent from the City, which will mean mid-sized funders can consider providing grants. Once that agreement is in place, we will move forward with an Option to Purchase, which requires Council approval but opens the doors to larger grants.

The larger grants will help us fund Phase Two and Three of the project, but we will need to complete funding for Phase One without them. We could finish funding for Phase One if just two organizations or people wanted to contribute the cost of building one Tiny Home each. We offer naming rights to anyone who fully funds a tiny home. If you would like more information on how to provide this funding, please contact us at tinyhomes@reachadvocacy.org.
This month, we have two new founders and two returning founders, who not only donated again but increased their donation. Our thanks go out to:

New Founders
John and Mary Bellini and Family
James White

Returning Founders
Craig and Elaine Holt
Jane and Michael Bleeg

We thank all of you who contributed this month and the many others who became Founders in the past. Every donation helps!

You can become a founder by donating $250 or more to the REACH Tiny Home Village. You will find instructions on our website. Please specify you are designating your donation to the Tiny Home Village.
Advocacy Opportunities and Current Events
Committee Updates

Advocacy Committee is now meeting every other Wednesday. We met on February 9th and brainstormed how we want to proceed in this coming year. 
By the next two meetings we hope to have a clear agenda and action items for this part of the REACH mission. Note, the REACH Mission is comprised of three parts: Shelter, Supportive Housing, and Advocacy.

Rudy Rivera of the REACH Board, pictured here, has agreed to chair this Committee and he welcomes readers of our Newsletter to join us in these discussions.

If you would like a Zoom link to the Committee meetings, please email Rudy at rrivera@fathertracycenter.org.
Rally for Housing Justice
The Rally for Housing Justice was held on Saturday, February 12th at Marketview Heights. Marketview Heights is a redlined neighborhood that is still seeing the impacts today. With targeted developments surrounding the Public Market, a hot spot of gentrification, the displacement of Black and Brown tenants has been on the rise. There are currently 180 active eviction cases, impacting approximately 400 people, in the Marketview Heights zip code.  

City Wide Tenants’ Union is asking that the Mayor and the Rochester City Council:

  • Passes the Eviction Reduction Law in March which includes No Eviction without a Good Cause and a Certificate of Occupancy.
  • Form a Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) Legislative C0-Governance Working Group, starting in February, to work with tenants, administration, and City Council to craft TOPA legislation and an associated Tenant Purchase Assistance Program (TPAP)
  • REACH is supporting this action of CWTU. Please let your Council member that you support this housing justice effort.
This Month's Reading List
Homelessness and Racism

This month we're featuring Who Are the Homeless? Centering Anti-Black Racism and the Consequences of Colorblind Homeless Policies by Earl James Edwards. This paper explores how different public persona constructions influence the way we deal with homelessness. Read it here.
Thank you to our readers!
We are grateful for your continued support of REACH Advocacy, Inc.