Mayor Judy Kennedy of the City of Newburgh selected United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region to be the coordinating and convening organization for the city’s poverty reduction initiative funded through New York State’s $1,000,000 Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI). Newburgh is one of sixteen communities statewide that was selected to participate in this initiative, with the stated goal to: “work together to develop and execute an innovative plan to reduce the number/percentage of households residing in poverty and increase the number/percentage with earned income above poverty.”
“Given the established inroads and performance track record of United Way in our region, I am pleased to have selected them as the convening organization for our initiative. I know that they will bring our diverse stakeholders to the table and accomplish a visible difference in our efforts to lift families out of poverty,” stated Mayor Judy Kennedy.
The 16 Anti-Poverty Task Forces — Albany, the Bronx, Binghamton, Buffalo, Elmira, Hempstead, Jamestown, Newburgh, Niagara Falls, Oneonta, Oswego, Rochester, Syracuse, Troy, Utica, and Waterton — were determined through US Census figures as having high rates of poverty in New York State.
“On behalf of United Way we are honored to be included in this important initiative for the City of Newburgh,” stated Jeannie Montano, President & CEO of United Way. “With our mission to fight for the health, education, and financial stability of all our community members, United Way is very aware of the need of many Newburgh residents. We look forward to beginning the Initiative’s Phase One, through convening the task force and beginning the community conversations that will identify the city’s highest needs and neighborhoods. We will be working closely with Mayor Judy Kennedy and City of Newburgh officials as well as County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus and representatives of Orange County Government.”
The Anti-Poverty Initiative is structured to include representation from local government officials, advocates from nonprofit organizations, local school district representatives, social services, and most importantly, residents who have lived or are currently living in poverty. Once the taskforce has identified high need issues, neighborhoods, and common problems, with Newburgh residents’ input, they will select one or more focus areas or issues that need to be addressed, before developing a plan on how the funding will be utilized. The plan will have to include measurable objectives as well as a timeframe for completion during Phase Two.
“Orange County is proud to collaborate with the United Way and the City of Newburgh on this important project,” said Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus. “To successfully combat poverty requires various entities working together and United Way has a wonderful track record of success. As County Executive, I applaud Mayor Kennedy and United Way for their collaboration on this endeavor. ”
For the Anti-Poverty Initiative, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region will draw upon the work of the Governor Cuomo’s Community, Opportunity, Reinvestment (CORe) Initiative, which began in 2013 in Newburgh and Albany as initial pilot locations. CORe is a neighborhood-based community change approach to address disparities in public safety, employment, education, health, and housing and has drawn together over 200 community partners in Newburgh working to improve conditions, as well as focused over $20 million of state and private investments in Newburgh to effect long-term change.
For additional information about the work of United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region, go to www.uwdor.org.