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Local anti-poverty organization gets state funding boost

A skyline view of Rochester
Max Schulte
/
WXXI News
Downtown Rochester skyline view.

The Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI) is getting a financial boost. 

It comes in the form of a $750,000 state grant, announced on Wednesday by local Democratic Assemblymembers including Harry Bronson, who is Chair of the Assembly’s Labor Committee. It was the second consecutive year RMAPI is getting that $750,000 appropriation.

The Executive Director of RMAPI, Aqua Porter, said that since the organization was formed nearly a decade ago, they have seen some improvement in the data surrounding poverty in the Rochester area. 

“It is nowhere near where we want it to be because we are still significantly higher than the average in New York state, and we are much higher than what the average is across the country,” said Porter. “But we have seen work here and we have seen that rate go down faster than it’s gone down in other upstate cities.” 

Porter said that the latest infusion of state money will help RMAPI with operational costs, such as helping pay for staffing. RMAPI both pubic and private funding for its expenses. 

Porter said that among the goals that RMAPI has in the near-term is to improve housing prospects for local residents and also help connect people with jobs. 

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"And we look at our data to see who is not able to achieve that today, and trying to put in interventions to see if we can actually move the needle on some of those populations who are not achieving good employment opportunities in our community,” said Porter. 

Porter said she has been in touch with local employment organizations to try and find ways to connect people who are having trouble finding work even among the available openings in the region. 

Bronson said that alleviating poverty cannot be done “without investing in a more equitable, diverse and inclusive economy.” He said that access to a good paying job is the most important element “to uplift families and change the trajectory of entire neighborhoods.”

 

 

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.