To assist women that have behavioral issues to prepare them to reenter the community with a positive mind and attitude, and a better view of the world.
Providing transitional housing and support to women in Rochester, NY
"The more I work with women affected by drugs and alcohol, the more I realize how devastating this illness is and how much pain it causes."
Out of the Darkness, Inc. was established in 2012 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to support successful reentry into community living for women facing behavioral and addiction problems. We provide services to promote recovery and relapse prevention from opioid/drug addiction. Our services are provided in a safe and sober transitional home environment in Rochester, NY. The house is conveniently located near the Rochester Regional Transit Service and is within walking distance to Lake Avenue.
Over the years, Out of the Darkness, Inc. has been sustained through the generous support of dedicated volunteers, area churches, sales from Dorcas Sewing Ministry as well as Monroe County Department of Social Services rental subsidies. We also have an active Board of Directors that support our vision for future growth.
At Out of the Darkness, Inc. we can house up to ten women at one time in our residence. There is a detailed intake process that includes a signed commitment to the House Rules, which are designed to promote the values of recovery and developing a changed lifestyle based on wellness and wholeness of mind, body, and spirit. Residents are expected to be full participants in scheduled programming, chores, and activities while continuing to access individual behavioral health and treatment services from community-based agencies. We welcome all parole or probation cases, at the officers' request, to become a resident at Out of the Darkness, Inc.
Our Programs include Reformers Unanimous, Relapse Prevention, Holistic Coaching, Stress Reduction, Nutrition, Domestic Violence Awareness as well as a social game and movie nights. As a Christian-based organization, Bible Study and Recovery by Christ provide spiritual development. We also utilize a variety of resources provided through the community for drug, alcohol, and mental treatment.
In January 2017, a van was purchased, which has provided the opportunity for the women to participate in group outings to attend community events. Our program development goals include adding staff to provide additional case management, implementing new life skills and medication management methods, teaching financial literacy techniques, training and educating women to develop job readiness skills including computer literacy, self-determination/advocacy training, and Reiki.
After retiring from a career in social work, Sonia Rodríguez started an Overcomers Outreach, offering recovery through Christ, for women who were incarcerated at the Monroe Correctional Facility in Henrietta, every Wednesday afternoon.
In conjunction with the Overcomers Outreach held at Monroe Correctional Facility Wednesday afternoons, Sonia started an Overcomers Outreach, for those who were homeless and those who were struggling with alcohol and substance abuse, on Friday afternoons in the basement of a local church in Rochester. The Overcomers Outreach was open to anyone and food was also provided.
With the support of a local pastor, Sonia took the Overcomers Outreach to another fellowship where they could continue to hold meetings on Friday afternoons. With the help of dedicated volunteer, Johnny Cintron, they co-led the Overcomers Outreach and it grew tremendously. During this time, Sonia passed the baton to Sister Jacquelin, who continues to lead the ministry to this day.
Overcomers Outreach was then offered at another local church in partnership with Robert Williams from Open Door Mission. This became the largest Overcomers Outreach group in Rochester. It was open to the public and Open Door Mission bussed the homeless who were staying in their facility to the church on Sundays. After the Overcomers Outreach, those in attendance were offered a shower and were given new clothes to wear.
In 2011, a church purchased the Out of the Darkness, Inc. home in Rochester.
During this year, Sonia also started to partner with her daughter, Lucila Matos, Founder of the Walk to End Domestic Violence. In August 2011, the inaugural Walk to End Domestic Violence was held in Rochester. Out of the Darkness, Inc. continues to support, participate in, and contribute to the annual event, which is still going strong today.
During this time, Sonia also began a sewing adventure called Dorcas Sewing Ministry at a local church. Multiple sewing machines were purchased and set up in the basement of the church to teach women with different needs from the Welfare Employment Program (WEP), a skilled trade. The women learned how to use the sewing machines so they could complete sewing projects. To see our early photos of Dorcas Sewing Ministry, please visit our Videos & Photo Galleries page.
Sonia also held her first Fundraiser/Gala through the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to raise funds for the Out of the Darkness, Inc. house.
In 2013, Sonia purchased the Out of the Darkness, Inc. home from the church. Soon after, the home opened as a full-time transitional facility for women leaving incarceration.
Sharon DiMuro, ESQ. began her advisement role with Out of the Darkness, Inc. She donated all of the initial furnishings and appliances to furnish the home.
Sonia continued the Dorcas Sewing Ministry at the church; the ministry also became a subdivision of Out of the Darkness, Inc. The purpose of Dorcas Sewing Ministry was not to begin a sewing business, but to have the funds needed to cover the expenses of the women who could not afford to live in the home. Sonia's vision was to offer women who were in need of recovery services an opportunity to improve their lives. If someone was willing to stay in the home, but unable to pay, the funds raised from selling the products from Dorcas Sewing Ministry would pay for their room and board. Sonia's desire is that Dorcas Sewing Ministry would allow them to be a self-sustaining ministry to cover all of the costs to run the home for anyone who needs help during the recovery process.
In addition, Dorcas Sewing Ministry was designed to equip women with a skill set they would be able to use as a means of support for themselves and their families. It would also provide an opportunity for the women to use their hands to show the love of Christ in a tangible way through making items for the community.
Sonia formally establishes Out of the Darkness, Inc. as a 501(c)(3) in Rochester, NY. A van was purchased in January 2017, which has since provided opportunities for the women to participate in group outings to attend community events.
During this time, Out of the Darkness, Inc. extends its services from just incarcerated women to include all women struggling with substance abuse problems, behavioral issues, and those who are controlled by other destructive habits. The goal is to prepare them to reenter the community by helping them solidify and maintain a clean and sober lifestyle.
Out of the Darkness, Inc. has its First Annual Inclusion Luncheon to share news and updates about the organization and to also thank and recognize those in the Rochester community with a celebration an awards ceremony.
Out of the Darkness, Inc. purchased a new embroidery machine for the Dorcas Sewing Ministry. The online store will begin to take orders for customers in the near future.
Out of the Darkness, Inc.
P.O. Box 60824 Rochester, New York 14606 | firstname.lastname@example.org