Newburgh Anti-Poverty Task Force and United Way sponsor a Community Listening Session on January 21

If you are a Newburgh resident struggling to make ends meet, we want to hear your ideas for the future of Newburgh. The Newburgh Anti-Poverty Task Force is hosting a community listening session on Saturday, January 21st from 11am to 5pm. The listening session, “Speak to Change,” will be held in at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center (321 William Street, Newburgh). 

The Anti-Poverty Initiative will use the information from the listening session to begin to identify and highlight what residents feel are the most prominent barriers to success and issues of concern in the Newburgh community in the areas of jobs, housing, transportation, education, health & wellness. Once the key concerns are identified, plans will be developed by work groups and timelines will be set on how to address these issues. To know what areas residents feel need the highest priority of attention, the task force requests and needs the help of the Newburgh community to discuss these issues on January 21 at the Community Listening Session!

“Together, our goal for the Community Listening Session is to discuss solutions and ideas on jobs, housing, transportation, education, and health and wellness programs,” noted Rae Leiner, director of the Anti-Poverty Initiative for United Way. “In order for progress to be made, we need the voices of the Newburgh community to be heard! United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region was selected to coordinate and organize this initiative by Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy, and together with the partners that comprise the task force, we all are determined to help improve the lives of those who live every day in poverty in the City of Newburgh.”

The first 150 participants to register will each receive a $50 gift card as thanks for offering their time and ideas at the listening session (limit 2 per household, participants over 18 only). Spanish translators will be present at the session to help facilitate conversations of all Newburgh residents. Childcare as well as transportation to and from the event will be available for those who register by January 18th at noon. To ensure your voice is heard, register online (http://bit.ly/register-speaktochange-newburgh), by phone (845-471-1900 ext. 3100), or by email (rleiner@uwdor.org).

The recent United Way ALICE Report for New York State examined households throughout the state (using 2014 data) and showed 68% of Newburgh households struggling day-to-day, with 34% living in poverty and 34% as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). This is a much higher concentration of those struggling than households throughout the rest of Orange County (a total of 41% struggling with 12% living in poverty and 29% as ALICE). For more information on the ALICE Report, see www.uwdor.org/NYS-ALICE.  

There are a total of sixteen Anti-Poverty Task Forces in New York State – Albany, the Bronx, Binghamton, Buffalo, Elmira, Hempstead, Jamestown, Niagara Falls, Oneonta, Oswego, Rochester, Syracuse, Troy, Utica, Waterton, and the Newburgh task force. These areas were determined to have the high concentration of poverty within their municipality. With the help of local government officials, nonprofit organization advocates, and school district representatives, these areas have worked hard to fight poverty rates over the years.

“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,” said Jeannie Montano, President and CEO of United Way.  “Right now we are at the beginning of Phase One of the Anti-Poverty Initiative. This Community Listening Session is key to help us hear and identify the city’s highest needs and neighborhoods. We all are 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.”

Make sure to “Speak to Change” at the Community Listening Session on Saturday, January 21st. To ensure your voice is heard, please register by January 18th at noon at http://bit.ly/register-speaktochange-newburgh or call 845-471-1900 ext. 3100 or email rleiner@uwdor.org.

Sponsored by the Newburgh Anti-Poverty Task Force