RRRS Mission Statement

Collaborating to provide services and opportunities to ensure assimilation of refugees into our society by providing assistance as they strive to be self-sustaining neighbors while still maintaining their own cultural heritage.

All of the organizations listed on this site are in great need of volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering, there are links for contacting each organization on their respective pages.

Special Recognition

photo of Pah Bo Day

Special thanks to our farmer/gardener Pah Bo Day who has put in two weeks of work preparing the community garden at Dewey and Lexington Avenues. He spent two days clearing the land of stones and rubble, then another two spreading the compost supplied by the City.

He also participated in the planting of the garden with Cornell Extension and other refugee volunteers. Pah Bo day will continue to maintain the garden with weeding and dressing of our flowers. See Pah Bo Day's full story in "The People of RRRS"

About RRRS

Rochester Refugee
Resettlement Services

759 Dewey Avenue

Rochester, NY 14613

585-319-3134

Hours

Monday-Friday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Donations

RRRS greatly appreciates financial contributions, which will support our annual Drivers' Education, Basic Machine Tool Operators and Certified Nursing Assistant classes.

Your gift is tax-deductible! If you are interested in helping refugees through financial gift, please mail your check payable to Rochester Refugee Resettlement Services to this address:

Attn: Michael Coniff

Rochester Refugee Resettlement Services

Post Office Box 15733

Rochester, NY 14615

If you have any questions about making financial contributions, please contact Michael Coniff at 585-732-5803 or by email.

RPD Citizen Police Academy

This Fall, 12 refugees from Burma (Myanmar), Nepal, Togo, Somalia and Sudan attended the Rochester Police Department’s Citizen Police Academy for a period of ten weeks - which was three hours every Tuesday. The Academy concluded December 16, when the refugees were awarded certificates of completion by the RPD.

photo of participants in the Roochester Police Academy

The Citizen Police Academy is an annual class offered by the RPD to make the city’s residents aware of the Department’s procedures in order for residents to better understand the Rochester Police Department. This Academy class was different in that it was composed primarily of residents from the city’s refugee population.

The Academy offered an in-depth look into the city’s police department through presentations by various units such as SWAT, the Bomb Squad, and Narcotics. As a result, the refugees gained a comprehensive look into these different units.

It’s the hope of the RPD that the Academy serves as bridge between the refugee community and the RPD, in light of the fact that most of the refugees come from countries where police are often the perpetrators of violence against them. The fact that some of the refugees have expressed interest in joining the RPD is a testament to the impact the Academy has had on the community.

We at RRRS would like to thank the RPD for holding the Academy exclusively for the refugee population and hope for a better relationship between the refugee community and the RPD.

Driver's Training Program at RRRS

The Drivers’ Training Program started on October 22, thanks to the support from the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People, Driver Awareness Training, the Devany Fund, the United Nations Association of Rochester and the Rochester Area Community Foundation.

We have up to 50 refugees from countries like Burma, Nepal and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We divided the refugees into two groups, those with experience driving and those who haven’t driven before. We would like to thank our volunteers specifically Eh Mu and Paw Nee who have been indispensable in helping us with communication of all sorts with the refugees.

members of the refugee community display their driver's education course certificates

For example, the chair and secretary of the RAC, Maung Maung and Djifa Kothor, refugees from Burma (Myanmar) and Togo, both of whom have lived in the United States for over six years now, have been the chief instructors and organizers of the program. These two young men, driven from their countries, and having found a new home in our city, are giving back to the refugee community and to our city by taking the refugees on the road every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, teaching them parallel parking, k-turn, etc.

Refugees taking charge of the initiatives such as these are important to Mr. Michael Coniff, the Executive Director of RRRS, because it fits into the mission of the organization. Thus, when Members of RAC first approached Mr. Coniff about the idea, he was very supportive and offered his organization’s resources and personal time to see to it that the program was successful and has since been vital part of success of program thus far.

Our Temp Agency

We have had a great three years with our temp agency, having had more than 30 refugees working at one time in 4 different locations. It is great to see the satisfaction that these folks get in being able to work to support themselves. It is equally pleasing to hear the compliments from employers who appreciate the great work ethic, dependability and commitment that refugees bring to the job.

As we go into year four of the program we plan on holding annual vocational classes to guide the refugees to more permanent occupations. For example, this Spring we successfully held a basic machine tool class and graduated 13 refugees who we are now helping find work. We also plan on holding a Certified Nursing Assistant class this Fall.