Community Place serving Rochester

Local News

The Community Place of Greater Rochester is using a person-centered approach to address a variety of family needs and strengthen Northeast Rochester neighborhoods.

Community Place CEO Scott Benjamin and Development Officer Debbie Baker discussed the ongoing community needs and the organizations annual “Art of Giving” fundraiser Thursday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“The Community Place, with us being a place-based human service provider in Northeast Rochester, we have plenty of challenges, but a lot of great people doing super work day in and day out,” Benjamin said. “The only way to really tackle some of the issues – because we’re in neighborhoods that have some of the very high poverty rates – is all of our programs, we try to make sure, are, person-centered. So, what does that person need today and going forward? So whether it’s emergency help with basic needs like food and rent in family services, or whether it’s in intellectual and developmental disabilities services where, you know, it could be after school for those children, or parenting skills for people with a child that they’re raising – you just have to make sure you’re focusing on that one person to improve their life. And that spreads through that family, through that neighborhood.”

To support its programs, the Community Place will once again host the “Art of Giving” on Friday, April 26 in the Cityview Ballroom at the Strathallan Rochester Hotel & Spa. “You can go outside and gaze over the city with a beverage and a few appetizers,” said Baker. “And then we have a sitdown dinner. And we have this reverse raffle, which has become pretty famous for us over the years.”

She added, “It’s just a wonderful event to have the camaraderie between everyone. But also all the funds that we raise stay right here in Rochester and help the folks that we serve.”

Get your tickets for this year’s “Art of Giving” online at

To hear Scott Benjamin discuss Rochester’s efforts to combat poverty, click our Web Extra link below.

“We’re making strides, I think, in how we approach some of these things. Organizations like ours are very invested in trying to work more collaboratively. I mean that in a way that we are really looking at what do we do to change systems so that people that need services have clean, smooth transitions between organizations that may be helping. And that’s challenging. It’s easier said than done because you have a lot of privacy rights. You have data issues and so on to make sure that you’re getting all the resources that people need and still being efficient. So, sometimes when we don’t see the needle move as fast as we’d like, people think – well, nothing’s happening – I can tell you a lot is happening and we’re starting to be able to make those changes, but it’s hard work. It didn’t happen overnight and it’s not going to go away overnight. 

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