Anti-Poverty Initiative announces focus on neighborhoods

Map of neighborhood-focused partnerships (RMAPI, United Way of Greater Rochester)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - The organizations behind the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI) announced Tuesday that it will focus on specific neighborhoods in the Rochester area.

The Marketview Heights, Beechwood and EMMA neighborhoods will be the initial focus of the collaboration between the City of Rochester Innovation Team, Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative and Connected Communities.

After one year of studying these neighborhoods, leaders with the City of Rochester and the RMAPI leaders will review what was effective and repurpose it to work in other parts of the city.

This strategy is part of the Urban Village concept outlined in the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge report issued last year. The Mayor's Office of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives will help find a target area to begin lifting people out of poverty.

"As Mayor, I want to bring opportunity to all of our neighborhoods; to ensure that all of our residents have access to jobs, safe neighborhoods and quality schools," Mayor Lovely A. Warren said. "This is just the first step of many that will lift our friends and neighbors out of poverty and create a better Rochester, one neighborhood at a time, throughout our city."

In December, the Finger Lakes region was awarded $500 million in a New York State Upstate Revitalization competition; it wasone of three regions to be awarded the funds. Part of those funds were to be allocated for this initiative.

The plan calls for community and government leaders to bring services and resources into these neighborhoods that meet the individual needs of the residents.

Most of the services focus around four areas: Cradle to Career Education; Community Wellness; Mixed Income Housing and Economic Viability, and could include adult mentoring, job training, more access to mixed-income housing and increased access to childcare and transportation.

"I support the goal of the Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative of reducing poverty by fifty percent over the next 15 years and look forward to continuing to participate in the initiative to develop and implement substantial and constructive policies and programs that address the challenge of poverty," said County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo. "This includes focusing on workforce development; education, including math, literacy and basic life skills necessary to secure employment."

Connected Communities is a non-profit working in the EMMA and Beechwood neighborhoods to create a partnership between residents, private businesses, government and foundations. It helps to determine which services and resources will help residents break through their barriers and become self sufficient.

"There are a lot of different people at the table now that all have a stake in the community - hopefully, with more resources to get the job done," said Kyle Crandall, Connected Communities board member and Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition President.

On March 19, city workers and Flower City Americorp members will go door-to-door in the neighborhoods with a survey to better understand barriers to employment.

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