Saint’s Place preparing for 900 refugees to Rochester in next 12 months

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – A family from Ukraine arrived at the Rochester airport Tuesday night to escape the war and start a new life here.

One estimate says we will see 900 refugees come to the Rochester area in the next 12 months.

When they do, many will come to a home that is fully furnished and News10NBC was in one home when the furniture and toys arrived.

In the back of the Saint’s Place van are all the things to turn an empty house into a home. Cookware. Mattresses. Toys.

The men carrying the items into the townhouse in Gates were preparing for a family of refugees from Ukraine.

"The really cool part of this is we started with a totally empty space and in an hour, we create an instant home," Jim Haefner said. "Everything is here. Kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, living room, toys, everything. It’s great."

All of these items were donated to or purchased by Saint’s Place, an organization in Pittsford that’s been around for refugees for 23 years. Michele Quinn is the associate director.

Michele Quinn, Associate Director, Saint’s Place: "We’re anticipating in the next fiscal year to have 900 refugees come into the Rochester area."

Brean: "900 sounds like a lot."

Quinn: "Sounds like a lot but we have a big volunteer team. Saint’s Place has been blessed. Blessed since the day we opened."

Quinn and her team of volunteers are going through their house at St. Louis Parish in Pittsford full of donated items trying to price them.

They sell them in July to raise money for things the refugees really need.

One item for sale is a print by Rochester’s most famous artist—the late Ramon Santiago.

"When we sell something like this it’s not because we think it’s too good for the refugees," Quinn said holding Santiago’s signed print of the Beauty and the Beast. "It just has more value to us to sell it and then be able to buy them what they need like they need a nice new mattress, new blankets and sheets."

Catholic Family Center says last year, 361 refugees came to Rochester. Most were from Afghanistan after the Taliban took over. The rest came from African countries like Congo and Sudan and, since January, Ukraine.

Brean: "When the world is in crisis, your job must get busier."

Michele Quinn: "Yes, it does get busier but it’s a good busy. If there’s a crisis, the United States people and the people, especially in Rochester, respond very well."

Monday was world refugee day.

The Saint’s Place sale starts July 6th at St. Louis church in Pittsford.