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.

Drivers' Training Program

The Drivers’ Training Program started on October 22, thanks to the support from the Devany Fund, Rochester Area Community Foundation and the Self Development of People.

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 Moo and Paw Nee who have been indispensable in helping us with communication of all sorts with the refugees.

The Drivers’ Training Program fits into Rochester Refugee Resettlement Services (RRRS) mission of assisting refugees in our community as they strive to be self-sustaining members of our community. Without a driver’s license, refugees struggle not only with taking advantage of the opportunities that our city offers, but finding jobs and maintaining it. With a driver’s license, we hope the refugees can fully take advantage of the opportunities that our great city offers.

While the program was suggested by RRRS, the refugees have been the primary organizers. For example, Djifa Kothor, a Togolese refugee, who came to the United States fourteen years ago and Maung Maung, a Burmese refugee, who came to the country seven years ago, are the directors of the program. These two young men, from different part of the world, have been taking the refugees on the road every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday teaching them parallel parking, k-turns, etc.

Refugees taking charge of the program is important to Mr. Michael Coniff, founder and Executive Director of RRRS, because it fits into the mission of Rochester Refugee Resettlement Services.

We Are Moving Again

We are in the process of moving down the street from 1442 Dewey Avenue to 759 Dewey Avenue, on the corner of Lexington and Dewey. The new location is close to Mary's Place Refugee Outreach Center, located at 414 Lexington Avenue. This will allow us to better serve the refugee community. It is our hope that this will be our permanent location.

Our Vehicles

The 12 passenger Dodge van is working well. We recently acquired a 2001 Chevrolet Impala. This is an older Chevy sedan with a tons of miles on it, but it has cleaned up well and runs. We need the van and the sedan to transport the refugees to work, appointments, and to transport goods. So, keep an eye out for us on the road.

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.

Drivers Education

We also notice how the refugees’ inability to drive has denied them many opportunities especially when it comes to finding and maintaining work. Hence we plan on holding an annual drivers’ education class starting this summer, so they can pass the tests for the learner’s permits, and provide them the instruction to pass their road tests and get their driver’s licenses. We believe this will greatly enhance the refugees' chances of a holding a job and further taking advange of the opportunities the city offers. We need volunteer drivers to ride along and instruct. Professional guidance will be provided. If you would like to help, please contact us at 585-319-3134.