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Geared for Growth: South East Area Coalition Connects Community Agencies and Neighborhood Residents

January 11, 2024

South East Area Coalition serves as a connective tissue between residents and community organizations in the southeast area of Rochester to help improve the lives of community members and help community organizations fulfill their missions. The organization’s Executive Director Mike Evans was featured on Geared for Growth on Wednesday, January 10, 2024 as part of Greater Rochester Chamber’s ongoing partnership with 13WHAM/Fox Rochester. Evans shared what projects and causes they are currently advocating for, the organization’s background and mission, and what’s on the horizon for them.

South East Area Coalition works to improve the lives of residents of neighborhoods on Rochester’s southeast

side by focusing on a number of different issues. Mike shared that some of the causes they are working on include neighborhood preservation and revitalization, childhood health advocacy, education, public safety, anti-poverty initiatives, and the business environment, working with the Merchant’s Association. Further, he explained that he works with a lot of different other agencies in Rochester as well so he can be a broader resource for stakeholders given how familiar he is with what is offered in our community. “Even if it’s not something that we can do, I can recommend someone to you to help you wish your issue,” Evans explained.

Some of the tangible work and initiatives that SEAC does in our community includes coat drives, food pantry collection, assembling goods, the SEAC tool shed, and more. When asked how they pick which activities to focus on, Mike’s answer was two-fold. First, they focus on their four pillars of focus and which needs more attention at any given time. Second, they engage directly with residents with both inbound and outbound strategies to keep a pulse on what the community needs.

Mike shared that the agency has undergone “meteoric” growth in the past three years since he joined. He noted that it often surprises community constituents how small the organization is, having five staff members now, but just one when he started three years ago. “We’re a small agency with a big heart,” he shared. An exciting project that SEAC is working on launching soon is a mobile version of the tool shed, which will result in more opportunities for community members to engage with South East Area Coalition. Mike noted that the organization is always looking for volunteers to support their work as well. To learn more about how to get involved, please visit

To hear more exciting growth stories from Greater Rochester Chamber members, tune in to FOX Rochester every Wednesday morning at 8:45 AM so you don’t miss any segments of Geared for Growth!


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