Welcoming the Stranger

Our Mission

  •   Provide incoming and existing refugees with needed clothing. All arriving refugees are given a warm winter coat, hat, gloves and boots to prepare them for our harsh winters. They are assisted by volunteers who help them select sufficient clothing of their choosing. We purchase new socks and underwear to give to each arriving refugee. They are welcome to return to the clothing closet at any time to obtain additional clothing and shoes for job interviews, special occasions or other circumstances. We do not foresee an end to this need in the future and we measure success by the number of people we serve per year at our clothing closet. Saint’s Place operates the largest clothing closet in Rochester. In addition to refugees, we welcome clients from other non-profits by appointment. From 2016-2018, we served 4,412 individuals at our clothing closet.


  • Furnishing the homes of newly arrived refugees is accomplished with donated furniture from the Rochester community and supplemented with items purchased through fundraising and grants. Each new refugee receives a new mattress, box spring and pillow.  The apartments are secured through Catholic Family Center, and Saint’s Place delivers couches, tables, bedding, lining, chairs, dressers, rugs, lamps, artwork, dishes, pots and pans, and bathroom accessories. We turn a dingy apartment into a warm, safe, welcoming home.  The number of set-ups fluctuates according to how many refugees are sent to the Rochester area. We also assist numerous non-profits in Rochester with any surplus donated furniture. From 2016-2018 we set up 769 homes.


  • School supplies are essential for all refugee children. Each arriving child receives a new backpack filled with school supplies. Success is measured by the number of backpacks we hand out each year – 300 per year. All incoming refugees are given access to tutoring provided twice per week at two locations. Success is measured in children raising their grades at school, adults passing citizenship tests and watching confidence grow as refugees become more confident communicating in the English language.  We tutor 100 refugees per week.


  • The Saint’s Place Scholarship Fund is our newest program.  Refugees who receive aid in the form of a laptop, payment of school fees, books, partial tuition or vocational certification costs have measurable success. We can see their grades improve and we see their lives change as they secure good employment with benefits. Many of our recipients are on the Dean’s list at MCC and St. John Fisher and both vocational student scholarship recipients secured good jobs with medical benefits upon completion of their programs.  Since it began in 2018, we have given $45,000 in educational assistance to 28 refugee students.

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