Three anti-poverty programs share $16 million in state funding

Gov. Cuomo visited Rochester to announce $16 million in state funding for three local anti-poverty programs.

Rochester, N.Y - Three local programs that work to fight poverty will share $16 million.

The money is coming from New York State. Governor Cuomo came to Rochester on Wednesday to make the announcement.

The funding supports three programs:

-The two-year Mentors for Success pilot program was created by the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative to address its top priority of expanding adult mentoring services to those who want to achieve economic self-sufficiency, but currently find themselves below the poverty level. The program will be funded by $1.5 million in Upstate Revitalization Initiative funding, which will be matched by an additional $1.5 million in private funding.

-Monroe Community College's Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center at Eastman Business Park; The first phase of the facility's development will be funded through $6 million in SUNY 2020 Awards, with the remaining phases being supported by $5.4 million in Upstate Revitalization Initiative grants through Empire State Development.

-The Hillside Work-Scholarship-Connection program, which pairs 700 Rochester-area high school students with mentoring services and part-time jobs. That program will receive $3 million dollars through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, which will be matched with another $3 million in private funding.

"There are so many benefits,” said Sabata Harley, who participated in the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection Program. “If I didn't do this program, I don't know what I would do, honestly. Learning about school, thinking about other opportunities that you want to do when you grow up, trying to go to college, which is always a difficult thing to do in an inner city school."

The programs are the first three projects identified as a priority by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council’s through its "One Community Plan."

“We know that if you go with the right support services for that child, that child can grow up and be anything he or she wants to be,” Cuomo said. “But you have to provide those support services. It starts young. It's about school, and it's about after school, and it's about mentoring, and it has to follow that child all the way up. Until you can say we've gone into the poorest communities in Rochester, and we have turned them around, and you cannot say we have turned them around, and you cannot say we have done our job."

In addition to the state's $16 million, a large portion of that is also being matched by private donations, making the true impact of this announcement closer to $30 million.

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