Wednesday, March 7, 2018 10:26 am

Watertown first in state to have $1 million anti-poverty program approved

WATERTOWN — The city became the first one in the state to get approval to begin its $1 million anti-poverty program.

Organizers received word that the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance approved Watertown’s anti-poverty plan. The city’s Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative has already started its work, said Robert Gorman, CEO of the United Way of Northern New York.

Full Story on Watertown Daily TImes

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 10:23 am

NY Awards $800K Grant To Fight Poverty In Watertown

Governor Cuomo announced Tuesday that the state will provide funding for several projects in Watertown that aim to help those in poverty.

It's made possible through the ESPRI grant, which stands for Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative.

More than $800,000 in state money will be distributed by the United Way of Northern New York.

Full Story on WWNY

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 11:24 am

Teachers learn about helping students in poverty

Donald MesibovWATERTOWN — Organizers working on the city’s $1 million anti-poverty initiative still hope to get the program off the ground by March 1.

Peter W. Schmitt, who is overseeing the effort, said the city’s anti-poverty strategy was submitted in late September and organizers have been waiting for weeks for the state’s blessing.

They hope to get the thumbs up from the state in the next week or so.

Funding for the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative program is coming from the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. The United Way of Northern New York is administering the grant and appointed Mr. Schmitt as its director.

Read the full article at Watertown Daily Times

Friday, January 5, 2018 6:12 pm

Poverty Education Forum Jan. 19

Donald MesibovA forum to develop strategies to help the north country better serve students who live in poverty will be held Jan. 19 at Jefferson Community College. Donald Mesibov of the Institute for Learning Centered Education, will conduct the forum,

The forum will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 pm in the Jules Center, and is open to educators and the public. The event is also being sponsored by the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES, Jefferson-Lewis Teacher Center, Watertown City School District and the Watertown NYS United Teachers Office.

For more information and how to register, read more on the United Way website.

Thursday, August 31, 2017 5:12 pm

Anti-poverty programs approved by task force, awaiting state approval

espri watertown ny meetingWATERTOWN — The city's $1 million anti-poverty initiative was given another push toward implementation Wednesday when the group tasked with organizing it signed off on the four programs involved and the funding for them.

Read the full article at Watertown Daily Times

Thursday, August 10, 2017 4:30 pm

ESPRI Taking Shape in Helping Reduce Area Poverty

In January 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his vision to help reduce poverty in New York State. His plan was simple: Provide grants to a few cities and allow them to etermine how best to either enhance or create programs that can help more New Yorkers become self-sufficient.

The timing of the new program neatly coincided with the United Way’s state-wide study on the working poor called ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income onstrained, Employed.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017 5:16 am

Poverty workshop graduates first class

WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- Local agencies and advocates came together Tuesday night to celebrate the graduation of Jefferson County’s first-ever cohort of the “Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World” poverty workshop — a program now-alumnus Johnathan Persons credited with saving his life.

The Watertown Urban Mission, Community Action Planning Council and Volunteer Transportation Center teamed up with the Jefferson Leadership Institute class of 2017 to establish the series locally at no cost to attendees. “Getting Ahead” focuses on building resources and creating personalized plans to get out of poverty with its willing participants.

The first workshop wrapped up with 12 graduates on July 18.

Read the complete story on Watertown Daily Times

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 10:58 am

Watertown Moving Closer on Poverty Grant Programs

WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- The city of Watertown is hoping to move forward with its plan to help fight poverty.

Watertown was one of 16 communities to be awarded a million-dollar state grant. The city had an 80-member task force studying ways to best use that money.

The United Way of Northern New York is in charge of administering the grant. It plans on submitting its phase one of the plan to the state soon.

Watch the video and read the complete story on

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 10:55 am

Work on Watertown’s anti-poverty program continues


WATERTOWN — The city of Watertown has issued a Request for Proposals to fund projects that will help reduce poverty in the city.

The request comes near the culmination of the first phase of the anti-poverty initiative that will use more $800,000 in state money to implement the program.

Read Full Story on

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 12:00 am

Organizers begin first phase of $1 million effort to fight Watertown poverty

A lot of work already has gone on behind the scenes with the $1 million effort to combat poverty locally. And a lot more must be completed before the program gets rolled out in June. In the project’s first phase, organizers are filling out forms and learning about the many state requirements that must be met before the city receives $1 million in state funding from the state'sEmpire State Poverty Reduction Initiative.

Read the full article at Watertown Daily Times

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