Nine Programs to Begin with Support from $1.1 Million in State Funding
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced nine projects are being funded under the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative in the Village of Hempstead. 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.
"We are empowering communities to connect people with opportunities that help move them on a path out of poverty toward economic independence," Governor Cuomo said. "I commend Hempstead for their efforts to bring meaningful change to their community and I look forward to these programs delivering results."
"As part of our Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative, we're providing funding to communities across the state to address the critical issue of poverty that continues to impact the lives of so many New Yorkers," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "We want to ensure that people who are living in poverty are given the opportunities and resources they need to help lead a more stable life. This investment in poverty reduction programs in Hempstead will provide increased economic opportunity for residents on Long Island."
Shortly after the Governor announced the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative in 2016, Albany, Binghamton, the Bronx, Buffalo, Elmira, Hempstead, Jamestown, Newburgh, Niagara Falls, Oneonta, Oswego, Syracuse, Troy, Utica and Watertown joined Rochester by developing 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. Now, the task forces are beginning to implement the poverty reduction plans developed in the first phase, utilizing the ESPRI funding.
The nine programs approved for funding in the Village of Hempstead are:
Community Development Corporation of Long Island, $110,000 - Financial literacy and long-term coaching sessions will be provided to low- to moderate-income families.
Family and Children's Association, $110,000 - A college and career readiness program will help high school students attain placement test scores needed to avoid remedial non-credit college courses.
Morrison Mentors, $98,000 - This afterschool program will provide students with STEM enrichment classes and peer-to-peer mentoring.
The Interfaith Nutrition Network, $109,000 - Mental health and substance abuse counseling will be provided to very low-income and homeless individuals who face multiple barriers to accessing services.
Hispanic Counseling Center, $125,000 - Bilingual community health workers will help reduce challenges and barriers for community residents.
Leadership Training Institute, $125,000 - Vocational training leading to gainful employment will be provided to individuals 18 years of age and older. Participants will receive various skills training, cognitive behavioral training, professional mentorship, vocational training materials and resources.
Town of Hempstead Department of Occupational Resources, $125,000 - Village residents 18 and over will be guided through sector-based career pathways by offering education and training in demand-driven occupations such as health care, business services, manufacturing and hospitality.
Village of Hempstead Community Development Agency, $200,000 - A community empowerment resource center will provide resource and referral services to individuals and families struggling to maintain the basic needs of safe housing, health, safety, food and clothing.
Woman's Opportunity Rehabilitation Center, $98,000 - Women at risk of incarceration and ex-offenders will be provided vocational job training and soft skills training to increase employment opportunities and reduce recidivism.
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts said, "The barriers to overcoming poverty are unique to each community and these locally-generated approaches are designed to address each community's needs. Through ESPRI, Governor Cuomo has developed a model that empowers local leaders to address the root causes of poverty in the most effective way."
New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "Governor Cuomo recognizes that for communities to thrive, we must deliver resources to help less fortunate residents. The ESPRI gives a helping hand to those suffering at the hands of poverty, which in turn strengthens community bonds, gives residents a sense of pride, and fosters growth both in and beyond each locality. These are great programs that will help deliver an equal economic playing field so that we can all prosper."
Interagency Coordinator of Non-profit Organizations Fran Barrett said, "ESPRI continues Governor Cuomo's successful efforts to tackle the root causes of poverty and income inequality. Through ESPRI, Governor Cuomo has empowered low income New Yorkers to design strategies for removing the barriers they face to achieving economic and social mobility. This is an exciting moment as the citizens of Hempstead are working together for tangible results. The unique system-changing projects launched today are a great example of the work being done across the state in all 16 ESPRI localities. We applaud the work of Hempstead's local leadership and look forward to seeing the impact this effort will have on the lives of Hempstead families."
Senator Kemp Hannon said, "These important investments by the state will help to address the cycle of poverty that has affected too many in the Village of Hempstead. The projects being supported with this funding will enable residents to gain a foothold in the job market, with a focus on giving our youth the tools they need to succeed in life. I commend the local leaders for their work on this effort and thank Governor Cuomo for his support."
Senator Todd Kaminsky said, "Empowering our neighbors by bolstering economic opportunities and procuring the resources necessary for our communities to thrive is critical to the long-term prosperity of Long Island at-large. I applaud Governor Cuomo for delivering this critical funding, and look forward to working with our non-profit partners to ensure that this investment is put to good use and derives maximum benefit for hardworking Long Islanders"
Assembly Deputy Speaker Earlene Hooper said, "This continued commitment to the Village of Hempstead shows that your tax dollars are still at work. I am proud that the Governor has agreed that these needed funds will assist in the state's continued commitment to the Village of Hempstead. I am delighted for the privilege to share this information with you."
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, "Governor Cuomo's funding from the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative has helped combat poverty and provide opportunity to the residents of the Village of Hempstead. This program is beneficial not only to those in Hempstead, but to Nassau County as well. I thank Governor Cuomo for his continued support for Nassau County."
Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen said, "Reducing and defeating poverty in the village is critical to Hempstead's success. This funding will help to support community organizations as they work to improve the lives and opportunity for many in our area. I thank Governor Cuomo and the State for this critical funding."
Village of Hempstead Mayor Don Ryan said, "This state funding will be instrumental to helping our village implement a proactive strategy to aid our residents in need. Thanks to Governor Cuomo's support, we will be able to create programs that will spur positive change throughout Hempstead."
Theresa A. Regnante, President and CEO, United Way of Long Island, said, "United Way of Long Island has been privileged to lead the effort on behalf of the residents in the Village of Hempstead. We know that this is a valuable long-term partnership to help transform people's lives."
The Governor's Nonprofit Coordination Unit, along with the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, and the New York State Grants and Reform Team last year held listening sessions across the state to discuss updates with the Governor's ESPRI program, answer questions, and connect local government with non-profit providers and business groups. The remaining ESPRI-communities are all in various stages of developing and enacting their local recommendations and are expected to announce their individual poverty reduction plans in the coming months.