ROCHESTER - The Rochester Rotary is celebrating youth this month by focusing on the reduction of adverse childhood events as part of the Rotary service to community by donating $25,000 to building out the huge family kitchen of the new "Home for Now" building at the Strafford County Homeless Shelter on Washington Street near Rochester Crossing.
Throughout the year of the pandemic the rotary members continued to arrive on weekdays and provide support to the Homeless Center for Strafford County. In the month of May, there could not be a better time to focus on the children and youth of the Rochester Community and to present support for the new building that will house 50 percent more family units come fall.
For many years Rotarians of the Rochester Rotary Club have taken volunteer shifts at the center on weekday mornings to help decrease operating costs, to model appropriate communications and behaviors and to be an ear to children and parents as they make their way out of the shelter doors each morning. Each year Rochester Rotary helps offset between $3,000 and $4,000 in operational costs with this volunteerism.
Rochester Rotary is always looking to grow the volunteerism from business members of the Rochester Community and hope that those that work and live in Rochester will consider joining the Club for its weekly meeting and lunch at the Roberge Center in Downtown Rochester beginning at noon. There are a number of volunteer opportunities that focus on the resilience and betterment of the Rochester Community.
Over the past 19 years the Homeless Center for Stafford County has served 535 children and unaccompanied youth.
The focus of the shelter is a two generational approach to ending homelessness includes programming to help children with literacy, creation of a safe and welcoming environment for children to feel at home in, help with schoolwork, collaborative relationships with external parenting education programs, working with state programs to keep parents and children together and internal mentoring and modeling of appropriate child/parent communications.