Chasing the Dream, Season 1: Ep 1

Chasing the Dream: An Introduction
On this first episode of Chasing the Dream, an overview and history of poverty in our area is explored. Natasha Thompson, host of the series and President & CEO of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, discusses the role of philanthropy with Judith Peckham, Executive Director of the Conrad and Virginia Klee Foundation. The episode concludes with a story from a local community member chasing their own version of the American Dream. Resources highlighted in this episode include:

The United Way of Broome County
The Rural Health Network of South Central New York
Tioga Opportunities, Inc.
Opportunities for Chenango, Inc.
Catholic Charities of Chemung & Schuyler Counties
Proaction of Steuben & Yates, Inc.

For a list of additional resources, please CLICK HERE.

Agencies Across Central New York Split Over $13 Million To Fight Poverty

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Organizations that help impoverished central New Yorkers get an education, find jobs or decent housing are getting a boost from a pot of state money meant to help the poor. Wayne O’Connor, of the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection of Syracuse, said the extra cash will help expand his organization that focuses on workforce development, starting in the middle school years. “It will enable us to hire five youth advocates, and some support for those advocates,” said O’Connor. “Every time we add more students, we grow the culture, we grow the program, so it’s significant.”

Hilliside is one of almost two dozen organizations in five counties, awarded a piece of the Upstate Revitalization Initiative grant. The 24-member Alliance for Economic Inclusion decided to split over $13 million between agencies that had successful programs dealing with poverty, as well as some newer ones.

Report: Rural Poverty in America is ‘An Emergency’

The United States does not stack up favorably when compared to other nations with advanced economies when it comes to childhood poverty worldwide, according to a new report, which considered factors such as the lack of access to quality food, high adolescent birth rates and a child dropping out of school. Out of 175 nations, the U.S. ranks 36th – far behind Singapore, Slovenia, Norway, Sweden and Finland, which round out the top five — and just behind Bahrain and Belarus in the reportproduced by the advocacy group Save the Children. “We are just above Russia, Kuwait and Bosnia,” says president and CEO Carolyn Miles. “So I wouldn’t say that the United States is doing terribly well as far as childhoods.”

The report looks at so-called childhood enders or “events that rob children of their childhood and prevent them from reaching their full potential,” including things like displacement due to war, gender bias, child labor and child mortality. There are three childhood disruptors that account for why the U.S. ranking is relatively low, says Miles, “One was our infant mortality rate, which is by global standards, pretty high.

“The Hustle: Poverty In Motion”

People who are poor move a lot – between homes, to get groceries and healthcare. It can be difficult to achieve upward mobility, leaving people feeling like they’re running in place. Click here to check out the stories.


Elmira Hopes State Funds Can Put Dent In Poverty


Antanisha Garrett likes it in Elmira.   “Coming from a fast paced state like New Jersey, it’s really different,” she said. “You can really come here and get your life together.” Garrett has tried to do just that. She’s lived in the Southern Tier off-and-on for several years. But she’s now in Elmira full-time.

Being Poor: Real Stories of Hope

Connect: NY explores those programs and individuals who are making headway in the fight against poverty in New York State.  How they are changing the trajectory of people’s lives, what tools they use to accomplish their goals – and how their work benefits us all – on this important finale episode of our Connect: NY poverty series. We meet a supervisor and bakery employee who have experienced an entire overhaul in lifestyle since beginning their work with Greyston.   We bring you their stories and an inspiring look at what can happen when a company is willing to take a risk on those in society who are left behind. Joining host Susan Arbetter for a follow up panel discussion in studio are:

Roy Reehil – Oswego County Legislator
Michael Kink, Executive Director – Strong Economy for All Coalition
Diane Cooper-Currier, Executive Director, Oswego County Opportunities
Ruth Pelham – Founder, Music Mobile

Watch on WSKG TV Monday, June 19, 2017 at 9:00pm.

Being Poor: Meet ALICE, the Working Poor

This episode is the fifth in the new six-part series “Being Poor in New York State.” WCNY director of public affairs, Susan Arbetter hosts this program where we explore what it looks like to live in New York State without enough food, clothing, housing, money or means.  Being poor often means a daily struggle to fight a system seemingly stacked against those on the margins of society, while also fighting against desperation and hopelessness. In this WCNY six-part “Connect: NY” series, viewers are exposed to the world of poverty in New York State and the choices and sacrifices both the urban and rural poor must make every day to survive. Who are the working poor?  If you are working one job or multiple jobs, is it still possible to fall short financially when it comes to affording the basic necessities of life? The United Way’s study of financial hardship, nicknamed “ALICE” referring to Asset Limited,Income Constrained, Employed individuals aims to answer these questions and provide a broader picture of financial insecurity than just state and federal poverty guidelines.

Being Poor: Poverty on the Edge

The Fulton/Oswego area is often covered in the news for their issues related to their struggling business and economic challenges.  But, why?  What is the story behind these once thriving communities with strong agricultural, industrial and power producing potential?  In this beautiful area, located in the northern, central area of the state, many struggle to find jobs where they can sustain a lifestyle above the poverty level.  Skilled employees travel hours to find part time work, and many others have fled the area altogether. Connect: NY spoke with the Mayor of Fulton, two Oswego County Councilmen, the historians for Oswego and Fulton as well as workforce development participants to understand the struggling economy in this once prosperous region. Panelists joining the show:

Karla DiGirolamo – NYS Community Action Executive Director 
Joseph Rotella, Oswego County Workforce Development Executive Director 
Lindy Glennon, Cortland County Community Action Executive Director
David Kay, Senior Extension Associate – Community and Regional Development Institute (CARDI), Department of Development Sociology Fellow, Atkinson Center for Sustainable Future Affiliate, Program on Infrastructure Policy
Ken Pokalsky, Vice President of Government Relations, NYS Business Council
Watch this new episode on Monday, April 17, 2017 at 9:00pm. 
Join us as we uncover compelling and unexpected stories throughout New York State and the history and systemic forces influencing current realities. Connect: NY is produced by WCNY (Syracuse, NY) and aired in partnership with WSKG.