SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo funded 11 Syracuse organizations with more than $1.7 million to target concentrated poverty in Syracuse.
It’s part of the Greater Syracuse initiative and now the leaders are gearing up for their first report to the community.
If you step inside Syracuse Community Connections, change is happening. The Community Connectors are housed inside.
They are great hitting the streets, collecting experiences of people around the city to make their lives better especially those living in concentrated poverty.
“This is actually centering the voice of the people. We are talking about how to move this city forward with the vision of what people are creating of what they want Syracuse to look like,” said Talina Jones, program manager of Syracuse Community Connectors.
Talina Jones and her team aren’t just collecting more statistics. They will formulate qualitative data to spur change.
Safety and transportation are top issues – along with lack of access to basic resources.
This program is part of the Greater H.O.P.E. Syracuse initiative headed by Ocesa Keaton. This is an acronym for healing, opportunity, prosperity and empowerment. The state-funded initiative started in 2015 to address concentrated poverty through community collaborations.
“Concentrated poverty means that in a neighborhood or a census track 40 percent or more are at or below the federal poverty guidelines,” said Keaton.
11 community partners receive funding from the state to change the narrative around poverty and break down barriers that limit folks in disadvantaged communities.
One example, 100 middle school children participating in a summer youth program — teaching them about financial literacy. Throughout the year some of those students get wrap-around services throughout the year — like case management and counseling.
For families, H.O.P.E. has also partnered with the Syracuse Financial Empowerment Center. Although the state’s first contract for the initiative ends in 2021…the focus now is sustainability, proving the worth and impact of programs.
Greater Syracuse H.O.P.E. will host it’s first community report on February 1. To find information on registration, click here.
This is open to anyone who wants to hear directly from community partners about this initiative.
More from NewsChannel 9:
For more local news, follow Jennifer Sanders on Twitter @JSandersNC9