October 2022

Housing is a Human Right

Board Notes

  • There was no Board meeting in October as members of the Board have been collaborating with Causewave on REACH's Vision, Mission, and Values. We will report on this work next month.
  • In case you missed our recap of the Annual Meeting in the September newsletter, we invite you to read the annual report of REACH Advocacy, Inc. 
  • We regret to report that Rudy Rivera, who has led the Advocacy Team for the past year, has submitted his resignation from the Board. We will now begin the search for his replacement and hope to maintain the diversity that Rudy contributed. We thank him for his service on our Board.

Shelter Notes

First, we want to say a big THANK YOU to the volunteer groups who have assisted us as we prepare for the opening of our shelter buildings. Yes, there are now several buildings that are a part of the PROJECT HAVEN PLAN. A big thank you to John Curran who arranges these working days. You can learn more about the impact these volunteers made here.

Project HAVEN

We are thrilled to announce the impending opening of an 80-bed, 6-site, shelter system for the most vulnerable people in our community. This larger system will allow REACH and its partners to adapt to the needs of the chronically homeless. Project HAVEN will allow us to accommodate mental health, substance use, and physical health issues in safe and dignified settings. 

Project HAVEN will consist of our traditional low-barrier sites for chronically homeless guests, an LGBTQIAA+ site, sober living through a partnership with Recovery Houses of Rochester, and a shelter site specially designed for women facing the myriad issues of sex trafficking through a partnership with Bright Star.

We are ecstatic that we will be able to provide so many sheltering options for so many different people. In order to do this, we need your help! 

Ways to get involved and support REACH:

  • Financial Support: After a generous kickoff donation from Andy Nahas, we are only $40,000 away from opening Project HAVEN in November before the bitter Rochester Winter begins. Your assistance is needed and really matters! You are welcome to make a donation today.
  • Shelter Items Needed: In order to operate Project HAVEN, we are in need of a great number of supplies. Please take a look at our Amazon list of needed items

Follow our progress and stay in the know on Project HAVEN through our Facebook.

Tiny Homes News

The City notified us they are moving forward with an Option Agreement which opens up opportunities with many funders who consider this to mean we have site control. Once we have commitments for the funds, City Roots Community Land Trust will close the sale, and we will sign the ground lease with them and move forward with Zoning.

We extend our gratitude to Penfield Presbyterian Church, a previous founder of the Tiny Home Village. Their generous contribution this month helps move us closer to our funding goal.

In the last few months, we brought our grant writing in-house. Our grant writing team just submitted three grants that, if successful, will get us close to the funds needed for Phase One. We are now preparing to write proposals for both additional construction costs and supportive housing.

We welcomed a new member to the team this month. Emery Lewis is an attorney with Nixon Peabody. He has a passion for working with nonprofits and social justice issues. 

We remain an all-volunteer team. However, we now have signed contracts for the project's planning stage. They are working concurrently to ensure we are ready to build once we have the approvals from the City.

BME Associates is working with our legal team and in-house planner on the zoning variances we will need to build the first Tiny Home Village in Rochester, NY. We received our second set of draft architectural drawings from Greater Living Architects. You can view the draft site plan and architectural drawings on the updated Tiny Homes page. Livingston Associates is working with us to update our project budget.

We are also working on adding a new workforce development partner. Heritage Christian Services has a supportive employment program for persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities. We look forward to adding them to the current list of seven other partners in our efforts to provide a training ground for underserved populations in the area.

ROC The Day is right around the corner! Stay tuned for more information on how you can make a difference with REACH Advocacy Inc. at ROC The Day this November. 

Advocacy Notes

For current legislative concerns here are some helpful links:

The Advocacy Team needs a new chair. If you are concerned about housing justice and have an interest in the legislative processes that affect the creation of truly affordable housing, please contact us at

Thank you to our readers!

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