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Community response to Rochester’s first-ever Service Truck Rodeo



Rochester, New York – It’s the inaugural Service Truck Rodeo held in the City of Rochester.

A glimpse of the extensive range of support services that are available was provided to residents of the North Clinton neighborhood on Sunday thanks to a collaboration between the local nonprofit Rochester Hope and 20 other groups.

People at the event told me they were glad to see something like this come to the city, especially because it was taking place not far from the location of last week’s shooting of a 3-year-old.

Rochester Hope stepped up and organized an event to bring in resources to try to support the community while nestled in what has been regarded as the hub of the escalating violence.

“They’ve been begging for something like this,” said city resident Arthur Butler. “It was hard for each individual to find it on their own authority to get people together. All of these different cultures, so many things are going on – that is what’s going to make this community strong, that is what’s going to bring us together.”

There were a variety of services available at the event, including mobile health clinics, public safety booths, and mental health resources.

Since this is a request that the community has made for a while, they expressed their gratitude.

“I have to say, we have to be grateful, respectful for everything that the police have done, and we absolutely need it,” said Father Daniel Ruiz, Volunteer Director for Rochester Hope. “We also need that other end of the community, building community partnerships with government and law enforcement, if we actually want to make a difference for the neighborhood.”

County officials and the event’s planners vowed not to be deterred from aiding those in need by fear of the spike in violent crime.

Service providers present at the gathering expressed their wishes for universal service access.

“We hope to break down some barriers or even stigmas,” said Denise Read, Deputy Director for Monroe County’s Department of Human Services. “We were just talking to a woman who said, ‘I do not qualify for that,’ but my coworker was saying to her, ‘We still encourage you to apply,’ because you don’t even know.”

Starting this month, the first Sunday of each month will be the day of the Service Truck Rodeo on North Clinton.

Each time, it will be held in an accessible place within the inner city, according to the organizers.