Due to the resurgence of COVID-19 REACH has made the very difficult decision not to open for the 2020-2021 shelter season. We are doing this to protect our volunteers and staff, but most importantly our guests, who would be unable to maintain social distancing in a communal living situation. We are working collaboratively with a number of different agencies to address the needs of the housing-deprived during this period; see the most recent Shelter Committee report for details. Please watch the newsletter, Facebook, and this website for information about donation and volunteer opportunities.
Although we will not be operating a shelter this winter in the former Coptic monastery at 720 West Main Street, REACH will be assisting the Coptic Christian Community in building restoration to enable its use as a resource center, and to better serve as space for future temporary winter shelter. We envision a place where people from the neighborhood might be able to meet with caseworkers or medical providers from other agencies, use telephones or copiers, etc. For this purpose volunteers are needed to help with building restoration; see our Volunteer Opportunities page.
Over the previous five years we have been able to feed, clothe, and shelter over 150 people per season. The temporary shelters have been positive experiences for the guests, volunteers, social workers, and everyone else involved. An atmosphere of dignity and respect has created an amazing environment for people to learn, grow, and – most importantly – stay warm in the Rochester Winter. Read more about our earlier shelters – and how REACH Advocacy came about – at Our Story.