poverty

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse’s Salvation Army welcomes a new executive director at a time when central New York is taking aim at the issue of chronic poverty.

Linda Lopez has worked in the human services field for more than 30 years in central New York. And she has seen how chronic poverty can be invasive.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Democratic congressional candidate Colleen Deacon took part in a Latino business roundtable at the Spanish Action League in Syracuse Monday as part of her campaign against incumbent Rep. John Katko. Deacon brought Congressman Xavier Becerra of California to listen to the problems facing the local Latino community.

Poverty, education and housing ranked at the top of the list. In terms of what a member of Congress can do, Becerra gave the same answer to many of the issues.

For the month of October, "On the Media" presents "Busted: America's Poverty Myths; The Distorted View of Poverty in America and the Media's Role in Framing the Issue." Listen each Saturday during "On the Media" at  3 p.m. That's Saturday, October 1 through Saturday, October 29.

Episode 1 - The Poverty Tour; October 1

Oliver Hine / via Flickr

Newly-released data from the U.S. Census Bureau finds that Syracuse is among the top 30 American cities for poverty rates, 29th to be exact. More than a third of its residents and nearly half of its children live below the federal poverty line.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Religious and labor advocates rallied Monday at the New York state Capitol as part of a nationwide movement, known as Moral Mondays, urging state lawmakers to take more progressive stances on issues.

The Rev. Emily McNeill, who heads the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State, said her group is not as concerned about the topics promoted by the evangelical right, including opposition to abortion and gay marriage.

Instead, she said, the groups are focusing on helping the poor, battling global warming, increasing voter participation, and rights for immigrants.

The latest in our series on education, "What it Takes: Chasing Graduation at High Poverty High Schools," examines the reason why nearly 20 percent of students don't finish high school.

There is virtually no way to make a legal living these days without at least a high school diploma. Still, this 20 percent exists. Why?

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has signed a Syracuse resident hiring ordinance into law. Officials have high hopes that this legislation can cut into the city’s high poverty rate.

The law will require contracts in excess of $100,000 dollars issued by the City of Syracuse, guarantee that at least 20 percent of the hours worked on a job will be done by city residents.

Miner signed her name to the legislation at Syracuse’s Southwest Community Center, saying these opportunities will go a long way in attacking poverty, and its side effects.

This week: metabolic surgery, dementia care and more

Jun 16, 2016

The idea that a morbidly obese person can achieve a healthy weight through willpower alone is outdated, according to Dr. Howard Simon, director of bariatric surgery at Upstate University Hospital.

People with morbid obesity (defined as a body mass index above 40) have a metabolic disease too complicated to treat with just drugs, diet or exercise; and most will regain weight lost through those methods, he says. Simon explains why bariatric surgery, combined with behavioral changes, has a high rate of long-term success.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

A lack of transportation is one of the biggest obstacles for people trying to climb out of poverty. But now one Syracuse-area program that is helping fill that gap, is hoping to expand.

It’s been a year since Providence Services of Syracuse started a Ride to Work pilot program that helps unemployed people accept jobs they might not ordinarily get, because of a lack of transportation. And Providence President Deborah Hundley has been amazed at how quickly the participants have been able to wean themselves off a transportation subsidy.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council has voted in favor of an ordinance that will require contractors working on city projects to hire 20 percent of their workforce from within the city. Proponents of the regulation say it is one tool to help reduce unemployment.

Zack Seward / WXXI

Work behind the scenes continues as the New York State Department of Transportation moves towards removing or replacing the crumbling Interstate 81 viaduct that cuts through the heart of Syracuse.

The community has been talking about this for years now -- what to do when the viaduct that brings I-81 through Syracuse comes to the end of its lifespan next year.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) laid out a plan he and others in Washington are working on to fight poverty across the nation. Katko visited one of the poorest neighborhoods in Syracuse Tuesday to hear from residents and explain what he thinks will help solve the problem. 

Theotis Wallace, 23, dropped out of high school in 10th grade. He lives on the south side, is trying to take care of his son and is thinking about going back to school at Bryant and Straton College, which Katko encouraged him to do.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

SUNY Upstate Medical University’s new president will be holding a series of symposiums to look for solutions to issues that face health care providers in central New York. Dr. Danielle Laraque-Arena hopes a studying issues like poverty and mental health can help the medical community deal with them.

"Help me succeed in connecting us in a joint purpose in improving lives. Our region is small enough so that anonymity is not a problem. We can know each other and learn to problem solve together,” said Laraque-Arena.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The United Way of Central New York has organized a new anti-poverty coalition to identify the biggest hurdles to getting out of poverty and to come up with policy solutions. The coalition is made up of people from a variety of different nonprofit organizations in the area that work with those in poverty on a daily basis.

Syracuse Fire Department / Syracuse Fire Department Facebook page

Several fires in Syracuse since the beginning of January have resulted in two recent fatalities, including that of a 13-year-old girl. One reason why more fires tend to occur during the winter season is because of makeshift heating sources.

Investigators said they are confident that unattended candles started the fire in Syracuse that resulted in the death of a 13-year-old girl. There was no heat or power in the home. Last week, a 31-year-old woman died after a fire was believed to have been started at or near the stove in the early morning.

Paul Downey / Flickr

New York's statewide poverty rate is 16 percent, but in upstate cities, that number doubles. In Syracuse, more than 1/3 of the residents live in poverty. Syracuse also ranks the highest nationwide for its concentration of minorities in poverty.

Colleen / via Flickr

The Syracuse City School District continues to show improvement in its graduation rates. According to state statistics, Syracuse’s graduation rate last year was 55 percent, compared to 51 percent the year before.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A new president is on the job this week at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. After more than four months getting to know the community, Danielle Laraque-Arena is replacing interim president Greg Eastwood, and wants collaboration to be a focus of her leadership.

“I think the best science emerges when you have effective teams. Medicine in the 21st century is all about team based care. It’s not me as a physician, what I can do individually, because what I can do individually can be augmented and magnified if I can do it effectively as a team,” said Laraque-Arena.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Anti-violence and social justice groups in Syracuse are focusing on what's called conflict transformation or getting to the root of what is causing violence in the community. One man started walking through some of the most crime-ridden streets in Syracuse directly engaging with young people to try to do just that.

The number of homeless people in central New York is down, according to a report on the state of Homelessness in 2015 for Syracuse and Onondaga County. 
 

There were about 140 fewer individuals in homeless shelters in Syracuse this year than last, according to Melissa Marrone, the coordinator of the Onondaga County’s Housing and Homeless Coalition. She says it’s an indication that new strategies for getting people off the street are working. For example, a “housing first” policy that brings individuals with substance abuse problems into housing.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

As New York's unemployment rate continues to fall -- even surpassing the national average -- Oswego County is being left behind. Its latest unemployment rate was the second worst in the state.

"Like the rest of the country, you were hit pretty hard by the recession. But unlike other parts of the country that started pulling out and growing jobs after the great recession, you all flat lined and created a new normal," said Rob Krupricka, a consultant Oswego County hired to study its stagnating economy.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council voted to appoint Joe Nicoletti to fill the position vacated by Councilor Pam Hunter after she was elected to the Assembly. One of Nicoletti’s biggest goals is to create job training and placement programs in the city.

A week after Hunter resigned, the Common Council voted on her replacement, which caused controversy with some councilors who said there was not enough time spent vetting the candidates. But Nicoletti said he is eager to return to the council which he served on in the 1970s and 1980s.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Some Syracuse residents are trying to focus the spotlight on poverty in the city.

More than a dozen members of some Syracuse churches marched through downtown during a busy midday, calling for more action to prevent poverty in the Salt City. Organizer Raymond Blackwell says there are three things that need to happen for Syracuse to lose the distinction of having the highest rate of concentrated poverty among minorities.

"One, is job training and job placement. Two, is fair housing policies, and three, is fully fund the public schools,” said Blackwell.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council voted down a motion supporting Mayor Stephanie Miner’s decision last week to raise the minimum wage for city employees to $15 an hour. Some Common Council members said there are still too many unanswered questions about the plan.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

An organization on Syracuse's southwest side is tackling the neighborhood's unemployment problem from all different angles. It hopes a new grant from the state will help.

A former funeral home on South Ave. in Syracuse is the headquarters for Jubilee Homes, which is receiving a $3oo,ooo grant from the New York State Department of Labor, to start their Build to Work program. Kristin Davis is one of the job coaches and said they hope to place more than 50 people into long-term employment.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Many Syracuse residents came out to voice their support last night, for a proposed local hiring ordinance for the city’s construction and service contracts. One concern is to make sure contractors can connect with residents who have the right skill sets.

Last year, Charles Rivers of Syracuse was going to school full-time, working two part-time jobs, one seasonal job and struggling to make ends meet.

Rescue Mission

Some big changes are taking place at the Rescue Mission in Syracuse as the organization continues to fight homelessness in central New York.  

A new $7.2 million wing will increase the number of beds for temporary shelter and for the first time, will offer that service to women, according to Rescue Mission CEO Alan Thornton.

Oliver Hine / via Flickr

A continuing study of low-wage workers in Central New York shows that many suffer from physical ailments caused by the job. And the situation takes a toll on their mental health as well.

The Low-Wage Workers Health Project has spent the last two years getting a sense of what life is like for someone living at the poverty level in the Syracuse area.  

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A recent study that ranks Syracuse number one in the country for concentrated poverty among blacks and Latinos has ignited activists, who want city government to do something about creating jobs for residents who live in poverty.

At a rally on the steps of Syracuse City Hall, Rev. Nebraska Carter, a vice president of the Urban Jobs Task Force, compared poverty to a cavity in a tooth. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

To raise awareness on the state of poverty in Syracuse, Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) went to several food pantries and nonprofit organizations serving the poor on Tuesday. Katko said the way to reduce poverty is by reforming inner-city education.

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