Impact Report

Last Updated: 10/15/2020

Food Distribution & Meal Delivery

  • The City has partnered with Foodlink, RCSD, and Monroe County to distribute emergency food supply boxes in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Through this partnership 1,390,878 meals have been served. 

  • The City of Rochester is collaborating with 20 restaurants to deliver meals to area seniors, age 60 and over, who live within the city Limits and are unable to travel to access food due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The City Department of Neighborhood and Business Development has awarded each restaurant with a Restaurant Grants of up to $15,000 to prepare free meals for delivery to area seniors for up to three months. The City is contracting with Goodwill of the Finger Lakes 211/LIFE LINE Mission program to facilitate the enrollment and delivery process. 8,822 meals have been delivered to 1, 239 seniors through this program (through 9/30/2020).

Housing Supports

  • In May and June, City Council approved over $2 million for an eviction prevention program administered by Catholic Family Center to provide emergency rent payments and/or security deposit assistance for income-eligible tenants before they truly become homeless. This new legislation dedicated an additional $2.1 million to a flexible fund that will be used to augment this program, based on the anticipated demand for assistance. To date 182 households are receiving emergency rent relief. Applications are still being accepted. 

  • The City's Emergency Assistance Program program provides financial assistance to address emergency situations related to the repair or replacement of furnace/boiler and/or hot water tanks to eligible owner-occupants who have owned and lived in the property for which assistance is being sought for at least one year preceding application. The program has supported $12,000 worth of repairs to date.

  • The City has launched a new grant program available to residential rental property owners. The program will reimburse up to $2,000 in cosmetic repairs and maintenance necessary to prepare a vacant unit to be rented and help ensure sufficient supply of available housing units. To date this program has received 9 applications. Applications are still being accepted.

  • The City has engaged the services of Open Door Mission through its partnership with Catholic Family Center to identify the needs of the homeless population and to relocate homeless community members into permanent residences. To date 50 homeless individuals have transitioned into permanent housing.

Business Supports

  • Businesses economically impacted by the pandemic are eligible for financial assistance through the City of Rochester’s Business Emergency Retention Grant Program. Businesses can receive up to $5,000 to utilize toward unpaid rent, mortgage payments, insurance (including deductibles) and payroll, as long as businesses have not received funds through the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program as funding cannot pay for a duplication of expenses already receiving assistance. The City has received 629 applications and has paid out a total of $1,200,588.88 in grant funds (as of 10/5/2020).

  • The City's Flower City Sidewalks innovative program rethinks the use of outdoor spaces during reopening phases and encourages businesses to expand into outdoor spaces like sidewalks, parking lots, and even streets. To date 16 businesses have benefitted from this program.   


  • Through the City's ROC the Parks program gyms, yoga studios, and other types of fitness businesses can apply to host classes outdoors for their members in certain city parks. Two permits have been submitted and approved to date.  

Education & Digital Divide Supports

  • In partnership with Greater Rochester United Way and Rochester City School District (RCSD), 2,896 laptops have been distributed to RCSD students.

  • R-Center learning Labs- Get help with remote school assignments and instruction Monday-Friday 8a.m. – 12 noon at our local R-Center. Open Recreation from 12 noon – 7 p.m. Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner will be available.

  • The Rochester & Monroe County Public Library has made it a priority to continue serving the community and has helped community members bridge the digital divide and continue to access services at Rochester library branches in the following ways:

    • Providing MyFi units to community members-- 440 units borrowed to date.​

    • Offering e-Books and e-Audiobooks to community members-- 433,131 books borrowed through the month of August, 2020.

    • Distributing children's activity kits to entertain and educated young members of the community. 1,800 kits have been distributed to date.

    • Offering curb-side appointments at library branches-- 4,397 appointments were made through the month of August.


Financial Support

  • The Rochester Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) has provided community members with free one-on-one financial counseling throughout the nationwide pandemic. The counseling team has worked with over 550 community members to access the economic impact payments, access many of the resources listed on this page, improve their credit, pay down debt, and increase savings. Counselors have worked with community members to create budgets reflecting changes in income due to COVID-19 as well as worked with clients to pay down debt when they can. Overall the FEC has seen a total savings increased by over $161,000 and total debt reduced by over $199,000 (as of 10/14/2020).

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