Emergency Family Services
Substance Abuse Counseling
Emergency Family Services | Baden Street Settlement
After moving to Rochester in 2002, Syreeta Knight experienced some of the harsh realities of city life. Her home where she was raising two young sons was robbed three times. With a landlord who refused to cover the cost of repairs—Syreeta remembers attempting to secure broken windows herself. Syreeta suffered yet another blow—as her sister lay ill in a New York City hospital. Using all of the money she had, Knight was determined to visit her ailing sister. Shortly after her arrival in NYC, Syreeta lost her sister.
After spending time to grieve with family, Syreeta returned to Rochester, only to find she had lost all of her furniture and even worst, she had also lost her home. With no place to go, Syreeta and her two sons were forced to move into a homeless shelter. Suffering through the infestation of bed bugs, Knight knew her living circumstances had to change.
Referred by a friend, Syreeta reached out to the Emergency Family Services at Baden Street Settlement for help. Not only did Baden Street place Syreeta in a comfortable hotel, the settlement house subsequently helped Syreeta find a place to call home.
The Baden Street Settlement staff quickly focused on building a long-standing relationship with Syreeta—even offering her car rides to work each morning.
To ensure Syreeta was stabilized in her new home, Syreeta received a home visit from the Executive Director of Baden Street Settlement, providing her with a gift card for food.
As time goes on, Baden Street Settlement continues to play a role in Knight’s life. Though many of the tough times are behind her, there are times when Knight connects with the staff for moral support.
“My relationship with Baden Street means the world to me,” Syreeta says.
Emergency Family Services
Aging Services | Emergency Family Services | Youth Services
After loosing everything she owned to a Thanksgiving house fire, Shelly Folwell and her three young children found themselves homeless. Three weeks later Shelly lost a strong figure of support, her father. Moving into depression, Folwell found herself in complete desperation.
A local news station covered Shelly’s unfortunate chain of events. Shortly after the airing, Shelly was contacted by The Charles Settlement House. With great concern for the family, The Charles Settlement House aided Shelly in securing the deposit for a new home. The settlement house also provided bedroom furniture for each of her children.
Experiencing a fire several weeks before Christmas, The Charles Settlement House arraigned a special car ride for Shelly’s children to the toy store, complete with Santa as the driver. New bikes were purchased for the children and gift cards were donated to Shelly to ensure the children had a fulfilling Christmas.
Shelly went on to raise her children, never severing ties with the Charles Settlement House. Today Shelly is a grandmother and soon to be great-grandmother and is now a participant in the aging program offered daily by the Charles Settlement House. There Shelly and other consumers of the aging program are offered a well-balanced breakfast and lunch (sponsored in part by Foodlink).
Shelly explains, “the aging services give me an opportunity to have lots of socialization with other seniors.” Shelly went on to express, without her involvement with the aging program at the Charles Settlement House, she may otherwise not have the exposure and means to experience outside social events provided by the Charles Settlement House such as trips to the theatre, sporting events and shopping trips.
Weekly focus points of the aging program include, proper exercise and nutrition, where there is a fitness room open to the consumers of the program.
Shelly and other participants of the aging program have access to trained staff on medical, dental health and housing. Each of the aging staff members are willing and able to serve as viable resources to the program attendees.
Emergency Family Services
Minnie Cox, Alex and Alexis Calloway
Community Place of Greater Rochester | Disability Services
The Sky Is The Limit program offered by The Community Place of Greater Rochester has become an intricate part of the lives of Alex and Alexis Calloway. A set of twins, Alex and Alexis were born two months prematurely. At birth the two were diagnosed with a string of developmental disabilities.
Raised by their aunt, Minnie Cox describes The Sky Is The Limit program as a “God sent.”
The Sky Is The Limit disability program fosters the social skills of its participants. Alexis who speaks with a speech impediment believes the program has helped her to blossom.
Alex explains the program as a place that encourages respect for the differences we are all born with.
As their legal guardian and caretaker, Minnie Cox is extremely grateful for the program.
Cox states, “the program and its staff function as a second family. At the program, parents and staff work together.”
Alex and Alexis attend the program Monday through Friday. Each day they are guided through their homework assignments, served dinner and are transported home.
The twins have created a myriad of memories as participants of The Sky Is The Limit program including, a trip to Syracuse, hiking in Canandaigua and an annual overnight camping trip.
The disability service offered by the Community Place of Greater Rochester has helped to prepare Alex and Alexis for the workforce. Alex recently started a part-time job.
Minnie, who is heavily involved in the academic well being of the twins, is fully committed to their success, high-school careers and overall stability in life.
Cox describes the program as a welcomed time and place, as The Sky Is The Limit program allows caregivers time to relax and regroup.
Credit photographer: Albert Jones Photography