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 ofMama Amar

Special thanks to Nazareth College Finance senior, Mama Amar, who has been with us since January.

He originally hailed from Senegal, and has been living in the United States for almost a decade now.

After seeing the RRRS staff presented at one his classes, he decided to used his acquired skills and help the organization keeps track of it finances.

Mama has been a great asset for the organization, writing its annual report and organizing the finances of RRRS, and its wholly owned subsidiary International Products and Services.

About RRRS

Rochester Refugee
Resettlement Services

759 Dewey Avenue

Rochester, NY 14613

585-319-3134

Hours

Monday-Friday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Donations

Rochester Refugee Resettlement Services accepts financial contributions as well as donations of couches, tables, chairs, and other household items that are in good condition. If you would like to schedule a pick-up, please contact Michael Coniff at (585) 732-5803. Your gift is tax-deductible! If you are interested in helping refugees through a financial gift, please mail your check payable to:

Rochester Refugee Resettlement Services

Attn: Michael Coniff

P. O. Box 15733

Rochester, NY 14615

If you have any questions about donations, please contact Michael Coniff at 585-319-3134 or by email.

Driver's Training Program at RRRS

We started with 12 refugees in the Rochester Drivers’ Education for Refugee Program on October 22 thanks to the support of the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People, the Driver Awareness Training, the Devany Fund, the United Nations Association of Rochester and the Rochester Area Community Foundation.photo of participant in RRRS Driver'sTraining Program

Now we have over 79 refugees from Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Congo, Eritrea and North Korea registered for the program. Thus far, 12 refugees have taken their road tests, 8 passed and 4 failed. Working with Morgan School of Driving, 21 refugees completed their 5-hours pre-license course, which is required to take the road test. RRRS offered a learner’s permit class for refugees without learner’s permit. As result, 26 now have their learner’s permit. We plan to continue the program until all the refugees have their driver’s licenses.

Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday we take the refugees on the road for three hours each day; however, we will also take refugees out to practice on other days of the week if requested. February was difficult due to the weather, and consequently, we had to cancel a couple days of that month.

While there have been couple of incidents along the way, it’s been mostly tires we had to replace. We will welcome all volunteers who would like to teach this vital skill to the refugees, email Djifa Kothor at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

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.

Our Temp Agency

We have had a great three years with our temp agency, International Products and Services, having more than 30 refugees working at one time in 4 different locations. It’s great to see the satisfaction that these folks get in being able to work to support themselves. It’s equally pleasing to hear the compliment 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, last spring we successfully held a basic machine tool class and graduated 13 refugees who all have jobs now. We also plan on placing refugees into Certified Nursing Assistant programs at OASIS and REOC.