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Rochester’s poverty problem likely to get worse before it gets better

Local News

Rochester is ranked as one of the poorest cities in the United States. And it’s a problem that may get worse before it gets better.

Ann Johnson with Act Rochester collects data and so far Rochester is in the top four for cities with the highest poverty rate. She says, due to last year’s natural disasters, she predicts these numbers will only go up.

“We could probably align that to how many people came from Hurricane Maria,” says Johnson. “From Puerto Rico to our city and it would be expected they wouldn’t jump into jobs and be integrated into the community.”

We are the home of Kodak, Bausch and Lomb and Xerox; one time we were a promising city. “We were your typical manufacturing city like many others,” says Johnson. “We have lost a lot of manufacturing jobs. We have a concentration of poverty and a concentration of race and ethnicity.”

Johnson says the only way to get out of poverty is to begin fixing socioeconomic issues one layer at a time.

Since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, more than 1,000 people have landed in Rochester. The Ibero American Action League has been involved to help those individuals transition to life in Rochester.

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