Notes from the Board
All members of the REACH Advocacy Board spent the Saturday morning of January 8th in a virtual retreat led by Allyn Stelljes and Kate Hermann of Causewave Community Partners. 

At this retreat, we celebrated our achievements and shared our aspirations for the coming year. In addition, we welcomed our newest board member, Talitha-Koumi Oluwafemi.
Additionally, the Board met on Monday, January 10th, to cover the following:

  • Reviewed the takeaways from the Retreat and asked the Executive to plan Agendas around central themes.
  • Agreed that Development should proceed with a contract for Stephanie Buchbinder to serve as our part time consultant for fundraising.
  • Agreed that the term “Team” serves us better than “Committee” as a term to refer to our working groups fulfilling the REACH mission.
Shelter Committee Updates
The REACH Advocacy Shelter Committee is thrilled to announce the opening of the REACH Winter Emergency Shelter. In the midst of an astronomical rise in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant, REACH was able to open anyway.

Thanks to great volunteers, staff, leadership, and now guests, the shelter season is underway. The Shelter Committee is looking forward to an amazing winter season serving our community’s housing deprived members.
As we move into the New Year, we’ve had a little time to reflect on the past year. Sheltering and assisting the homeless is certainly considered an emergency service in the community.
In the midst of turbulent times, the REACH Shelter Committee did what emergency service providers do- stepped into the crisis and got to work.

To learn more about last year’s Shelter Committee efforts, read our 2021 Shelter Committee Annual Report.
Tiny Home Village News
As winter settled in, the committee decided to use this time to investigate other possible sites for the Village. Of the five locations we reviewed, a vacant City-owned property on Clarence Park in the City's Northwest section quickly became a front runner. The site surrounds a cul-de-sac and has easy access from Lake Ave at Phelps Ave.

Why Move?

While we like the St. Paul site, we will need to stack the houses down the neighbor’s property line facing the driveway. The configuration doesn’t help create a village-like feeling. The St. Paul property is 1/3 acre, with a large portion covered by a parking lot. In contrast, Clarence Park is nearly one acre and will create the Village feeling we want for the project.
We quickly held meetings with City officials from Planning and Real Estate, the NW Neighborhood Service Center, and Councilmember Jose Peo. We met with the Edgerton Neighborhood leadership, which resulted in their enthusiastic support of the project. A second meeting with the nearby neighbors resulted in additional positive comments. We’ve engaged with Monroe County Legislator Ricky Frazier, State Senators Jeremy Cooney, and Samra Brouk. All are supportive of the project.

At the end of December, we decided to move forward with surveys. We should have the results during the first week of February. We already know there are utilities on the site, and the City demolished the previous homes, meaning we won’t have the same concerns about soil stability. We could start construction in late Spring at the rate we are moving forward.

So, what’s stopping us?

That’s an easy answer, funding. We still need about $125,000 to gain site control. While we are writing grants to cover some of the necessary funding, we ask you, our supporters, to help us make this possible by designating contributions to the Tiny Home Village.

To designate your donation, send an email to notifying us of your wish to help build the Tiny Home Village. You can help make this dream become a reality.
Advocacy Opportunities and Current Events
Conversations with the Senator's Office
On Monday, January 3rd, the Advocacy Team met with Maria Fisher of Senator Brouk’s office. We expressed our thanks for the Senator’s support of the three bills in the Housing Justice for All platform, of which REACH is a collaborator. We also had a good conversation around the systemic failure to meet the housing needs of people living on very low income. We look forward to further conversation with Senator Brouk.

Advocacy Team Update

At our annual retreat, the Board Members of the Advocacy Team agreed that we need to meet monthly. Our first monthly Advocacy Team meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 9th.

Anyone who wishes to join us in monthly Advocacy meetings can register with Peter at
This Month's Reading List
The Bill for My Homelessness Was $54,000, New York Times

A woman journalist writes about her life as a homeless person after a period in which she experienced personal losses. It is a moving account of the nature of homelessness and the need for trauma informed care of those who have similar experiences.

This article is a reminder that homelessness is not a criminal matter, but a health matter. Read it here.
Tell Them Who I Am: The Lives of Homeless Women, Elliot Liebow  

Our suggested book this month was shared by team member Rudy Rivera.

This is a story written nearly 30 years ago, but illustrates that we are still battling the same problems when it comes to homelessness. Why? Poor people still struggle against forces that are unjust and systems that do not afford them dignity.

Advocates are those who will not sit easy with the status quo.
Upcoming Events

Join us TODAY, January 20th, at 3:30 PM for a FREE online workshop: 


How to join: Register here. Event is free to attend.
Last minute news - after a brief shutdown our website is back up and running - thank you Marcia! Check it out here.

Thank you for your continued support of REACH Advocacy, Inc.