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catholic family center

Sanctuary House in Rochester reopens

Jan 25, 2018
Tianna Manon

Sanctuary House is open and ready to serve the community’s homeless women and children again.

The facility in Rochester underwent more than a million dollars in renovations and reopened Thursday. It now has 47 beds, instead of 43. Improved accessibility, plumbing, heating and privacy also mark some of the major improvements.

But to Catholic Family Center CEO Marlene Bessette, the shelter does much more than give local women and children a roof over their heads.

Compared to cities its size, Rochester has the second highest rate of overall poverty. The Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI)  has set a goal to reduce poverty in our region by 50% in the next 15 years. Is that realistic? Some critics of the Anti-Poverty Initiative say the effort has been a lot of talk, with little action, but RMAPI leaders say understanding our region’s poverty problem and developing effective strategies to alleviate it take time.

Catholic Family Center is a key partner in the initiative, and it’s set to launch adult mentoring pilot programs aimed at helping people in our community become financially secure and independent. This is all happening during Catholic Family Center’s centennial. We talk about the new pilot programs, and we hear from people whose lives have been transformed thanks to Catholic Family Center's services. Our guests:

  • Erica King, clinical supervisor at the Community Resource Services department at Catholic Family Center
  • Ron Rizzo, director of Family Prosperity Programs at Catholic Family Center
  • Jackie Wallace, Son House resident at Catholic Family Center, and student at MCC
  • Yomary Malave, participant in Catholic Family Center’s Lafayette House program, and student at MCC