November 2022

Housing is a Human Right

ROC The Day with REACH

Join us on November 29th to ROC the Day! ROC the Day is a 24-hour, online event supporting not-for-profit organizations throughout the Greater Rochester area. The event takes place on November 29th from midnight to 11:59 PM.

By participating in ROC the Day, you can make a difference in our REACH efforts. We encourage you to share this opportunity with your friends and family.

Set your calendar reminders for November 29th, come back, and ROC with us!

Learn more about ROC the Day

Shelter Update

Preparing REACH's Newest Scattered Site Emergency Shelter at 77 Barberry Terrace

How many volunteers does it take to prepare a REACH Advocacy emergency homeless shelter in just eleven weeks? About 120 verified individuals... and still counting! Each volunteer contributed an average of three hours of service.

Work began in late September 2022 under the coordination of the St. Monica Social Justice Committee.

Large volunteer teams from The Church of Latter Day Saints (30 members), McQuaid Jesuit High School (20 members), Roberts-Wesleyan Honors program (24 members), Naval ROTC college units (18 members), two University of Rochester service sororities (21 members), Scouting members from the Pittsford area (4) and concerned citizens (8) have contributed to making a welcoming residential environment.

A special crew of REACH Wonder Workers includes Jon Saulsgiver, Dave Van Arsdale, and Mark Halliday who have devoted many long days to the project.

The former St. Andrew Convent at 77 Barberry is an ideal congregate living residence. Built around 1927, it has 23 small individual bedrooms, a large kitchen and dining space plus additional rooms for adapting and repurposing. 


Surface walls within the interior of the building have been washed and several areas repainted. The entire basement wall surfaces and interior concrete block foundation have been repainted to control mildew. Repainted storage rooms for household items, paper products, bedding, bed frames, and resident personal items are ready for use. The bathrooms have been cleaned and returned to service.

A new set of four stacked washers & dryers will clean clothing in a showcase setting. The kitchen has been remodeled to meet the needs of serving prepared foods to guests. Energy-efficient lighting is used throughout. Windows and floor surface sparkle because of the volunteers’ efforts. 


The new 77 Barberry Terrace residence joins with previous ones to form the network of REACH scattered site shelters for 2022-23.

Tiny Homes Update

Join us on November 29th to ROC the Day and support REACH’s Tiny Home Village. Your contributions are helping us make permanent, supportive housing a reality for people exiting homelessness.

ESL Federal Credit Union notified us that they approved a grant to cover one-third of our Phase One Budget. Payment is contingent on receipt of the remaining funds for Phase One and zoning approvals. Our grant writing team is working on new proposals, which we hope to submit by the end of the year.

After submitting the required documents to the City for the Option Agreement, the Tiny Homes team continued to work toward Phase One construction next year. Work scheduled for 2023 includes zoning approvals, site preparation, infrastructure, and construction of the first four units, along with the manager’s home and community center.

Additional Board Update

Working behind the scenes, we finished updating our website this month. Along with fresh new content, we launched our new donor platform. You can now make secure donations directly our the website with an option to designate to the program of your choice. 

We thank Canandaigua National Bank for allowing you to donate to REACH Advocacy through their website since our inception.

Advocacy Committee Update

In 2018, following two years of creating a safe shelter for people experiencing chronic homelessness, our young organization came to the conclusion that to fully address the needs of our guests we must begin to address some of the systemic concerns of those in need of housing in our community. From then on we began to call ourselves REACH Advocacy to better describe our mission.  

The first thing we did was explore the idea of Tiny Homes as a way to address the need for more affordable housing in our community. Readers will know from other parts of our Newsletter just how successful we have become in laying the foundation for building a Tiny Home Village to offer truly affordable and supported housing in our community.

We have a long way to go before housing justice is realized in our wider community. Here are some reasons why:

  • For every 100 persons seeking housing while living on a very low income, there are only 30 units available in our market (National Low Income Housing Coalition 2018).
  • It is reported that the current Court status covering potential evictions has plateaued at ~1,800 cases, and we expect 600-700 warrants of eviction issued in the next 3 months (Alex Turner: Homeless Prevention Work Group).
  • Our Social Work Team is finding it harder and harder to find housing opportunities for the guests we have enabled to be ready for permanent housing.

To start engaging in advocacy, we encourage you to become more aware of the legislative challenges we are currently facing in order to support the creation of more affordable housing. 

Here are some ways to do so:

  • For Federal legislation: learn more.
  • For NYS legislation: learn more.
  • For local housing concerns: Help us to create a Housing Justice Blog where we highlight current practices that perpetuate injustice around housing and where we can tell the real-life stories of those who real-life systemically deprived of housing justice. For this, we need writers, data gatherers, and artists. You could also form a study group among your friends to better understand the history of housing practices in our community.

We welcome all interested persons to contact us via email. Tell us of your interest and the skills you bring. We would love to have you expand our team and help us to move the conversation around housing justice forward.

Thank you to our readers!

We are grateful for your continued support of REACH Advocacy, Inc.