Press Release: On July 6th, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced 12 projects that will be funded under the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI) in Binghamton. These projects are a direct result of ESPRI, the Governor’s $25 million initiative to help 16 communities develop locally-driven strategies to reduce poverty and increase economic opportunity for all New Yorkers. This investment complements Southern Tier Soaring, the region’s comprehensive strategy to revitalize communities and grow the economy.
“Through the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative, we are empowering communities to connect people with opportunities that help create a path out of poverty and toward economic independence,” Governor Cuomo said. “I look forward to these programs delivering results and comment Binghamton for their efforts to better the lives of many of its residents.”
In 2016 cities across NYS developed local task forces to oversee local efforts and administer state funding. Initially, these task forces worked to identify high-need areas and develop recommendations for investments and other changes to reduce the number of individuals living in poverty. These task forces are now beginning to implement the poverty reduction plans developed in the first phase, utilizing the ESPRI funding.
The 12 programs approved for funding in Binghamton are:
Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network received $206,000 for the Women’s Empowerment Circle project that provides comprehensive support services for single parents and pregnant women residing in Binghamton. Participants will get help finding safe, affordable housing, accessing preventive and primary health care and addressing their transportation needs in order to achieve their goals.
Rural Health Network of South Central New York received $169,000 for the Transportation Employment program which helps individuals who cannot find a job due to a lack of transportation. The program includes a transportation voucher service, enabling participants to get to work or to a location offering job training. It will also include a vanpool service that will transport workers to and from their place of employment with participants covering half of the monthly expense of the service.
Broome County Urban League received $168,000 which will be used to provide training and job placement assistance with the goal to develop technology, education, and workforce skills that better position participants in the job market. As part of this effort, trainees will be exposed to various forms of new media as a possible path to employment.
United Way of Broome County received $100,000 for the Binghamton Community Advocates project which provides a comprehensive support system by helping community residents address barriers to gainful employment, educational opportunities, and affordable housing. Advocates will also support activities that empower residents to be actively engaged in their community.
Upstate Minority Economic Alliance received $75,000 in funding for a multi-pronged approach to support the creation and growth of minority-owned businesses. It includes a trades apprenticeship program, a course to help participants build a business plan so they can launch and grow their own business and apply for state certification as a Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE), enabling them to more effectively compete for state contracts.
The Salvation Army received $65,500 for the Pathway of Hope program that serves parents of school-aged children who are unemployed or underemployed, helping them focus on addressing the root causes keeping families from becoming self-sufficient.
Crime Victims Assistance Center received $61,000 to support their collaboration with the Binghamton Promise Zone on an in-school program that targets at-risk youth and their families that have been exposed to adverse experiences and trauma, including victimization, sexual abuse, alcohol and drug use, witnessing domestic violence, commercial sexual exploitation and gang affiliation. The goal is to create meaningful connections with engaged youth and families to reduce further trauma, reduce the effects of poverty and help families thrive.
Catholic Charities of Broome County received $35,500 to support the Community Empowerment Center that provides services, support, and mentoring to low-income individuals and families.
WSKG Public Telecommunications Council received $30,000 for their Southern Tier Journal, an eight-episode television series that sheds light on the severity of local poverty, the local challenges faced by those living in poverty and the real-life stories of individuals, businesses and communities that have been successful in helping people build better lives.
Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition received $15,000 to support an outreach and advertising campaign to mobilize the community and other stakeholders in support of efforts to develop a food cooperative in the northside of Binghamton to help address food insecurity.
Broome Tioga NAACP/ Economic Development Committee received $10,000 to support the Youth Employment Preparation Program that focuses on increasing the percentage of Binghamton youth that obtain employment. The program will support historically marginalized youth, providing them with professional development, job fairs, as well s computer training and certification.
Research Foundation for the State University of New York received $6,000 for Broome County HEARS (Higher Education Access, Retention, Success) which works with adults focusing on educational and civic engagement, providing participants with increased skills in leadership, teamwork, program planning, project implementation, and evaluation practices. The purpose of the program is for participants to engage in workshops that will assist them in developing ideas for a community-based project.
Source: Governor Cuomo Announces Projects Funding Through Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative Launching in Binghamton, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo – July 6, 2018