Greater Binghamton is receiving nearly a million dollars to address a serious problem, poverty.
The Binghamton-Broome Anti-Poverty Initiative (BBAPI) announces over $900,000 in state funding awarded to 12 projects in our area.
The focus of the program will be in the City of Binghamton where a third of families and half of children live in poverty.
The award will provide residents with job training and resources along with promoting business opportunities.
BBAPI Steering Committee Chair Mark Bowers says two of the biggest issues to overcome for those in poverty is transportation and child care.
He says working with the people in the community was crucial to finding out how to improve.
“You can have all the data you want, you can have all the academic research you want. But when you sit next to someone who has the lived experience of either living in poverty or living in that zone between the poverty levels and what a daily household survival budget is, you get an entirely different perspective,” said Bowers.
Someone who has experienced poverty first-hand is Josephine Burrell.
Burrell has lived in Binghamton for over 40 years and says this program is a step in the right direction.
“We’re not focusing on people that are on social services. There are all these agencies in our community that deal with people that are getting benefits. There is no one out here that is helping people that are going to work every single day of their lives. Some people have two jobs and still can’t make ends meet. So we want to help these people,” said Burrell.
The United Way of Broome County has served as the backbone for BBAPI.
Some of the other organizations receiving funding include The Salvation Army, The Broome County Urban League, and the Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network.