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Report: More than half of Syracuse children living in poverty

More than half of children in Syracuse -- 53 percent to be exact -- are living below the poverty line, according to a new report by the Fiscal Policy Institute.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- More than half of children in Syracuse -- 53 percent to be exact -- are living below the poverty line, according to a new report by the Fiscal Policy Institute.

Alice, a mother in Syracuse, has the typical dreams for her family.

“To own some type of home, obtain good employment and be able to provide without a struggle,” Alice explained.

She’s been struggling to find a better job, accessible from public transportation and close to affordable daycare.

The Salvation Army says one of their fastest growing base of clients is working families.

"Almost 60 percent of the families we serve during the holidays with Christmas Bureau have never used Christmas Bureau before. They are new families,” said Linda Wright, with the Salvation Army. "Family homelessness in the past two years doubled."

A widening gap between the rich and the poor in New York is polarizing the state, according to the FPI study.

Since the late 1990s, the report shows the average income for the wealthiest New Yorkers went up 16 percent. The middle quintile saw a three percent gain, while the poorest 5 percent of earners had no increase.

"Median income has been falling. That is just so shocking to me. I would think that would upset all the businesses as we head into the Christmas season. The amount of money in the hands of people who want to buy products is falling,” said SU Maxwell School Professor Emeritus Dale Tussing.

The report shows Syracuse has higher poverty rates than most other cities. For all adults, 36.7 percent are living below the poverty level, while 53 percent of all children are living in poverty. Alice hopes other moms, living her dream, see the numbers as a warning.

"They could be a paycheck away from where I am at. I was a paycheck away from it. So, here I am,” Alice said.
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