Rural Outreach Center

ASSIST * EMPOWER * ELEVATE

aka The Rural Outreach Center   |   East Aurora, NY   |  www.theroc.co

Mission

Our mission is to assist, empower, and elevate the impoverished rural populations in Southern Erie County and the surrounding areas. We serve with compassion, empathy, and respect for all people. For children, our goal is to break the cycle of multi-generational poverty by providing counseling, play therapy, educational opportunities, and programs.

Ruling year info

2013

Executive Direcctor

Dr. Frank Cerny PhD, Mdiv.

Main address

PO Box 447

East Aurora, NY 14052 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-0817544

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Family Counseling, Marriage Counseling (P46)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Rural Outreach Center (ROC) grew out of the work of Pathways Christian Fellowship, founded in 2006 by the Reverend Frank Cerny. The group was committed to founding a community outreach program along with the church. After exploring urban poverty in Buffalo, the group turned to WNY’s rural areas. A survey and consultation with an expert in rural poverty showed overt 40,000 people living in rural poverty were not being served at all. The group held free monthly community meals to listen to residents and better understand the issues. An evolution of programs and partnerships providing “wrap-around” services began. ROC became an independent 501(c)3 in 2013. Through a 2016 Strategic Plan and its quick implementation, the ROC grew significantly from 2016 – 2019, in terms of the number of individuals served, the number and types of programs implemented in the planning stages, and the staff and volunteers to complete essential work in service of those most in need.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Rural Outreach Center

CURRENT PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES: The ROC has unified it’s multi-generational wrap-around programs into three comprehensive programs: U ROC (adults), ROC to the TOP (children’s) and Babies ROC (2019 Pilot). The first step to becoming a ROC Participant is for family members to make a commitment to invest in themselves and to learn new skills. Once emergency needs are met, ROC adult Participants focus on financial stability by taking part in an individualized budget session. Participants then move through ROC programming to ultimately reach financial self-sufficiency. Each path has opportunities and incentives, and each systematically empowers Participants to manage greater independence and financial self-sufficiency as they learn more skills. At the same time, children in ROC to the TOP are working on developing a positive, self-confident, resilient character and completing activities in the academic, social and emotional, health and character domains. A crucial component of all our programs trauma-informed care.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Families

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our mission is to assist, empower, and elevate the impoverished rural populations in Southern Erie County and the surrounding areas. We serve with compassion, empathy, and respect for all people. For children, our goal is to break the cycle of multi-generational poverty by providing counseling, play therapy, educational opportunities, and programs.

CURRENT PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES: The ROC has unified it’s multi-generational wrap-around programs into three comprehensive programs: U ROC (adults), ROC to the TOP (children’s) and Babies ROC (2019 Pilot). The first step to becoming a ROC Participant is for family members to make a commitment to invest in themselves and to learn new skills. Once emergency needs are met, ROC adult Participants focus on financial stability by taking part in an individualized budget session. Participants then move through ROC programming to ultimately reach financial self-sufficiency. Each path has opportunities and incentives, and each systematically empowers Participants to manage greater independence and financial self-sufficiency as they learn more skills. At the same time, children in ROC to the TOP are working on developing a positive, self-confident, resilient character and completing activities in the academic, social and emotional, health and character domains. A crucial component of all our programs trauma-informed care.

COLLABORATING ORGANIZATIONS: While many organizations do similar work, the ROC is the only agency providing full wrap-around services for the rural poor in the southern communities of WNY. The ROC works with other organizations (food banks, training programs, etc.) in partnerships and collaborations to ensure the Participants’ needs are fully met and to ensure non-duplication of services. For this program, the ROC is working with Community Connections of NY, Baker Victory Services, school districts and County Departments of Social Services.

LONG-TERM STRATEGIES FOR FUTURE FUNDING: The ROC is experiencing rapid growth as more families living in deep poverty in the rural communities of southern Erie County are hearing about the ROC’s services and, for the first time, have an agency which can fully address their situations.

Through capacity building support grants from CCNY, the Western New York Foundation, the First Niagara Foundation and the Tower Foundation, additional staff and infrastructures have been added. One of the key positions added was that of a fulltime Director of Development, who started in mid-January 2019 and will focus on expanding various income streams. In addition, the ROC leadership is working with Erie County and other government entities on Service Contracts for future years.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: By far, the most important accomplishments were by those ROC served. In 2019, over 150 adult and 70 child Participants actively worked on their goals to transition to self-sufficiency – and many are succeeding. ROC’s team of social workers grew from one FT social worker in 2016 to the present three FT social workers and a case manager to meet the growing demand both in terms of the number of Participants and the complexities and severities of their situations. ROC U launched in March 2018 and Kids ROC in Fall 2018. Last summer 2019 we launched Babies ROC and will continue to expand the program.

We will continue to provide wrap-around care to those living in rural poverty. We are currently being forced to place Participants on waiting lists due to staffing and space restrictions. In response, we have launched a 3.2M capital campaign to build ROC Central and center to support the rural Participants and a center of play. play therapy and Theraplay.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Rural Outreach Center
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Rural Outreach Center

Board of directors
as of 2/3/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Tim Lafferty


Board co-chair

Cliff DeFlyer

Vidlers 5 & 10, Inc,

Term: 2017 - 2020

Vicki Feine

Jane Vossller

Ace Flags

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/03/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/03/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.