Broome County Anti-Poverty Council Targets Housing, Transportation, Child Care

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Updated: 7/30/19 – 11:18 A.M.

VESTAL, NY (WSKG) – As part of a statewide effort, an anti-poverty group has come up with three focal points for Binghamton and Broome County.

Gabe Altieri/WSKG

Sharon Chesna (left) and Donna Lupardo (right) announcing focus of Binghamton/Broome County anti-poverty council on Tuesday. Gabe Altieri/WSKG

Its part of the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative. That started in 20-16 and identified 16 communities across the state.

Binghamton and Broome County was one. Oneonta and Elmira are two others.

Organizers said some government policies don’t go far enough to protect people who are just emerging from poverty. “Families are essentially pushed off a cliff into financial independence without being able to or fully prepared to take on the cost of living independently,” said Sharon Chesna, chair of the Broome County Anti-Poverty Advisory Council.

The council report shows 16.5-percent of Broome County residents live in poverty. It points to housing, child care and transportation as three areas of focus.

The plan took a couple years to put together. It reveals statistics that outline to level of poverty. “The number of households without a vehicle. The number of children in poverty, one-in-two in the city of Binghamton, for example” said Binghamton-area Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. “It’s shocking to a lot of people.”

She said the goal is to reduce the number of people in Binghamton and Broome County who live in poverty by 30-percent before 2025.

Full disclosure: WSKG Public Media has received funding for anti-poverty projects through New York’s ESPRI program.*

*Updated to disclose WSKG’s relationship with New York’s ESPRI program.