ROC Ripples – 12.14.14


The Rural Outreach Center (the ROC) continues to touch the lives of many in our communities.

The ROC is organized to provide multiple services to help people move from dependency of some sort to self-sufficiency. Movement toward self-sufficiency is monitored on 10 measures such as housing, literacy, employment, savings, etc.. By providing a variety of services to address each of these measures in a single place, we can maximize opportunities for each person to become empowered and elevate their status. It works – see below.

As you might imagine, this is a relationship-intensive process that is dependent on our social worker and many volunteers. A group of 8 volunteers has just completed our 5 hour SWAT (Social Worker Assistant Team) training. These SWAT members  have made a long-term commitment to nurture individual clients toward achieving their self-sufficiency goals.

The ROC has been gifted a double-wide trailer with a reception/waiting area, 5 offices, a conference room and other space. (see photo) This will allow us to offer expanded services, such as counseling, veteran’s outreach, social work and health care.

Our health services program (see team photo) is celebrating its first anniversary of service and is seeking ways to attract more uninsured adults in our service area. If you know of anyone who is uninsured, please have them call 716-220-4834.

Persons who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly known as food stamps) can not purchase non-food items such as toilet paper, soap and so on. To meet this need the ROC distributes donations received from local groups (photo).

Because of the support of so many people in our community the ROC served 200 families in the past 12 months. Many of these have moved up on one or more of our outcome scales toward self-sufficiency.

One example the effectiveness of the ROC model is Kayla (see photo). Kayla came to the ROC for some household items through our New Paths Household Goods Redistribution Center. Instead of simply giving her what she needed, New Paths asked her (and all clients) to contribute financially, in-kind or with volunteer hours. Kayla contributed financially, but also became a volunteer! She also met with Maria, our social worker, who connected her with some assistance programs. Eventually we were able to enroll her in an employment training programs that led to employment! Yeah!

The ROC model of developing caring relationships and providing a wrap-around nurturing environment works. It will continue to work because of volunteers and supporters like yourself. And for that we give you thanks.

Recent support has been given through the Oishei Foundation, Zonta of East Aurora, the Erie County Legislature and many individuals.


trailerThis 70 by 24 foot trailer should be delivered to our Olean Road site by the end of December and in operation early in2015. Over $50,000 was raised to site this trailer that was given to the ROC through TLC Health Care with the help of Senator Gallivan’s office.


healthservicesPart of our Health Services team Gina Prescott, Maria Knickerbocker, Rebecca Webster, Jude Hartrich, Director Ruthie Hunt, Bonnie Jae, Sue Toft seated.


basketsJudy Pangborn prepares baskets of non-food items for distribution.


newpathsKayla helping at New Paths with volunteers Jim Preston and Craig Kubiak.

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