Who We Are

About Sojourner Home

Sojourner Home is the new name for the sister organizations Sojourner House at PathStone and Wilson Commencement Park. With shared leadership and staff, the two organizations now operate as one with a powerful unified mission of helping individuals and families build structure, strength and stability.

 

SHELTER

STRUCTURE

STRENGTH

Sojourner Home has five unique residential programs, each providing a safe, nurturing living environment for healing and recovery from trauma, poverty, homelessness and domestic violence.

Sojourner Home has five unique residential programs, each providing a safe, nurturing living environment for healing and recovery from trauma, poverty, homelessness and domestic violence.

When they are stronger, we are stronger. Sojourner Home helps families find strength and self-sufficiency, and our entire community finds greater strength as a result.

When they are stronger, we are stronger. Sojourner Home helps families find strength and self-sufficiency, and our entire community finds greater strength as a result.

When they are stronger, we are stronger. Sojourner Home helps families find strength and self-sufficiency, and our entire community finds greater strength as a result.

When they are stronger, we are stronger. Sojourner Home helps families find strength and self-sufficiency, and our entire community finds greater strength as a result.

History

Our Name

The name Sojourner Home is an homage to Sojourner Truth, a native of upstate New York who became a traveling orator, an abolitionist and a women’s rights activist on a mission for change. True to the spirit of Sojourner Truth, the strength of Sojourner Home lies in recognizing and cultivating the courage and tenacity within each person to overcome the barriers in their lives to find hope and power to help themselves and others.

The history of Sojourner Home is the story of two organizations with a common mission to help families overcome adversity, and to build strength and stability for themselves and our community.


Our Beginnings

How a House BecAME a Home

Founded by community advocate, Nancy Watson Dean, and her daughter-in-law, Virginia Fairchild, The House of Strength (formerly Sojourner House and originally Sojourner Hall for Women) has a long history in the Rochester community. Just a few years after doors opened for Sojourner Hall for Women in a refurbished building on East Main Street in 1982, a resident’s abuser set fire to the structure, destroying its interior.

A new home was found in the former convent of St. Monica’s Church in the 19th Ward—a space that nearly tripled the number of women and children who could be served—that became known as Sojourner House. Sojourner House became a pioneer of supportive housing programs, launching in subsequent years residential programs at Monica Place, Nancy Watson Dean, and Fairchild Place. These residences moved women and families from the transitional program at Sojourner House to permanent, affordable housing with on-site case management and supportive services to ensure long-term stability, establishing a continuum of care for women and children that continues to grow today.

In 2009, Sojourner House affiliated with PathStone Corporation, a Rochester-based nonprofit that develops and manages affordable housing properties. The two organizations came together to bring Sojourner’s model of supportive housing programs under the PathStone umbrella, and Sojourner House became Sojourner House at PathStone. The affiliation brings safe and affordable housing, coupled with critical support services, to even more Rochester families as they move from crisis to self-sufficiency.

In recent years, the properties at Nancy Watson Dean and Fairchild Place have been sold. Located within walking distance from each other off Genesee Street, Sojourner House—newly renamed The House of Strength—and Monica Place continue to serve our community’s most vulnerable women and children, providing shelter, structure and strength to build stable self-sufficient lives


Our Story Continues…

Building Strength Together

In 1991, the Marie C. and Joseph C. Wilson Foundation established Wilson Commencement Park to help low-income, single-parent families transition from public assistance to financial independence. Wilson Commencement Park was conceived as a self-contained community where residents would live up to two years while receiving comprehensive case management and family support services, and working toward a transition to permanent housing.

The community consists of 50 townhouse units, and 18 apartment units in a secure building known as Destiny, and includes on-site daycare, which today is operated by ABC Head Start.

In 2016, Wilson Commencement Park also became an affiliate of PathStone Corporation. With similar missions and the need to streamline organizational operations due to changes in funding at the federal level, Wilson Commencement Park joined forces with Sojourner House, adopting a shared board and shared leadership, and restructuring with shared staff.

Welcome to Sojourner home

In 2018, the organizations announced a new name—Sojourner Home—representing programs and services provided at five locations in the City of Rochester. True to the spirit of the founding of both Sojourner Hall for Women and Wilson Commencement Park, the mission of Sojourner Home is to serve the humanitarian needs of individuals and families who have experienced homelessness, domestic violence, chronic poverty, mental health and substance use disorders, and other sources of trauma, and to help them build the strength and structure they need to lead stable, self-sufficient lives.

Through community partnerships and our affiliation with PathStone Corporation, Sojourner Home currently has programs in five locations: Sojourner Home: The House of Strength; and Sojourner Home at Monica Place, Wilson Commencement Park, Eastman Commons and Eastman Reserve. We offer safe, affordable housing that is program focused, providing intensive case management, life-skills training and youth development programs for families, with the goal of making families—and our community—stronger.

Board of Directors

 

Shelby Stenson, Chair
Nicole Calcagni, Vice-Chair
Tim Flaherty, Treasurer
Teresa Bales, Secretary

John Barker
Dan Blasi
Marla Dinkle
Julie Everitt
Peggy Fox
John Loury
Jacqueline Sinclair-Parker
Joseph Sayre
Victoria Sidorenko
Stan Tate
Rick Van Kuren