Advisors and Advocates for Empowered Lives

We advocate and advise for individuals who want to confidently negotiate daily life.
We collaborate with partners in public, private, and non-profit organizations to help our clients develop and confidently use skills when they interact with others in these key areas: •Shelter •Employment •Education •Community Participation •Legal Support


Find out about our organization, what we do and why, and how changed lives are unfolding.

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            One percent of all refugees who enter the United States resettle in Rochester, New York.  After spending years displaced in refugee camps, these new Americans look to contribute to the economics and culture of their new city.  While some organizations support the initial transition to life in Rochester, the non-profit House of Refuge works with new Americans to achieve longer-term goals that will leave an indelible mark on the Greater Rochester area. 

            Since 2015, House of Refuge has empowered hundreds of new Americans to apply for 4-year colleges, find jobs, start businesses and be more self-reliant overall.  Most new Americans in Rochester are eager to no longer depend on assistance from government and non-profit agencies, yet a lack of English skills and experience with bureaucratic systems can hinder this desire.  House of Refuge looks to overcome these structural barriers to self-reliance by sitting down with individuals, listening to their goals, and setting out detailed plans for how these dreams can become realities. 

            House of Refuge was started by Bijaya Khadka, a local pastor who came to Rochester in 2009 as a refugee from Nepal at the age of 16.  Based on his own experience, Khadka has designed services that are attuned to the needs of new Americans.  He has earned a great amount of trust with new Americans through his tireless efforts promoting the well-being of those in his community.  State Senator Joesph Robach has awarded Khadka a letter of honor for his commitment to the Rochester community.       

            House of Refuge currently has no staff, instead relying on a team of volunteers to lend support to an ever-growing number of new Americans in our local communities.  House of Refuge believes personalized efforts are necessary to help new Americans achieve self-reliance.  These efforts demand many hours from these volunteers.  In 2018, House of Refuge worked with ______ new Americans in Rochester and the surrounding suburbs.  With more funding, House of Refuge could expand its outreach to over 2000 Rochestarians annual. 

            Many former refugees do find success in Rochester.  Adults open businesses, teenagers attend colleges and families move off assistance and into the middle-class.  When this happens, the families contribute taxes to the community and share their stories and cultures with pride.  House of Refuge has already guided hundreds through the barriers that could have kept new Americans from reaching these middle-class dreams.  By contributing to House of Refuge, you can ensure House of Refuge can help even more new Americans achieve this dream.

 New Americans are looking to contribute to Rochester, to the city that welcomed them during difficult periods in their lives.  Please help new Americans contribute more to their city by donating to House of Refuge.