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Anti-poverty initiative to get millions in funding

The Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative will receive nearly $5 million to support the expansion of early childhood anti-poverty initiatives.

The programs target children and caregivers in the city of Rochester pilot neighborhoods targeted by the initiative, including the EMMA neighborhood of East Main, Mustard and Atlantic Avenue; Beechwood; and Marketview Heights.

“Fighting poverty and providing opportunity to all New Yorkers is a top priority of this administration,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “Through these strategic investments and collaborative community efforts we are helping to ensure young New Yorkers receive quality care, access to new learning opportunities and are moving the Finger Lakes Forward toward a more equitable and prosperous future.”

Finger Lakes Forward is the region’s strategic plan to grow the economy and create new opportunities for businesses and the community.

The two-year anti-poverty pilot program will include home visiting, summer learning and child care initiatives.

The Upstate Revitalization Initiative funding will support a two-year demonstration program totaling up to $4.75 million. The Office of Children and Family Services will administer $3 million to expand child care subsidies through Monroe County, while the Office of Temporary Disability Assistance, via the United Way of Greater Rochester Inc. and its Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative will administer $1.08 million for the summer learning program and $675,000 for expanded home visitation efforts.

“The Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative is committed to creating systems change and addressing the root causes of poverty, and this is a great step in that direction,” RMAPI director Leonard Brock said in a statement. “In an effort to not only reduce poverty, but break the cycle of poverty affecting so many of our residents, it is imperative that we take a dual-generational approach that supports the youngest and neediest of our population, the children. I am thrilled by the state’s commitment to support these children and invest in the long-term outcomes for our community.”

Officials noted that for children in poverty, exposure to violence, poor diet and lack of mental stimulation contribute to higher rates of teen parenthood and school drop-out rates. RMAPI was created in 2015 to develop new and innovate ways to reduce poverty.

“United Way is thrilled to serve as partner and catalyst for this community investment,” United Way president and CEO Fran Weisberg said. “We’re proud to work side by side with RMAPI and our program partners to attack poverty from all angles, and we appreciate New York State and Governor Cuomo’s commitment to helping us rebuild our region into a healthy, productive, thriving community.”

Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

(c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-363-7269 or email madams@bridgetowermedia.com.

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