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Rochester 5th poorest city in U.S.
Rochester, N.Y. - According to The Rochester Area Community Foundation, 160,000 people living within the nine-county Rochester-area are living in poverty.
The report, released Tuesday, revealed that Rochester is the 5th poorest city in the United States. And for some of the people working with the citys poor, the findings of the report are not surprising.
Cameron Community Ministries
Cameron Community Ministries on Cameron Street in Rochester and the ministrys surrounding neighborhood has a 90 percent poverty rate. 63,000 people were served meals there last year. And 7,000 more showed up to eat in 2013.
Katherine Warren, the Cameron Ministries Youth Director, said the demand for food was so high for children under age 18, that they began to serve dinner every night at the ministry.
This is not surprising to Jennifer Leonard of the Rochester Area Foundation.
The greatest concentration of poverty is in the City of Rochester, nearly one half are children, said Leonard.
St. Josephs House of Hospitality
The number of daily meals served at St. Josephs House of Hospitality is also rising.
The hospitality house serves about a hundred people a day, seven days a week. Some people, such as Michael Barrios, find themselves homeless after working their entire lives.
Ive been living on the street for six months, said Barrios. It was never this hard to find employment. I would always land on my feet, [but] here I am six months later.
Whats The Solution?
According to the poverty report, there are some solutions to Rochesters prevailing poverty rate. The foundation recommends better housing for the poor, more job opportunities and metropolitan schools and government.
But some neighborhood leaders disagree with adding more programs.
Because I work in an impoverished neighborhood and live here I understand it, said George Moses, of Northeast Area Development. The last thing we need is a program to manage poverty.