Governor Andrew Cuomo promised to pledge another $25 million in state aid toward anti-poverty efforts in Rochester, spread across various organizations and projects. One major effort is the Rochester Revitalization Fund, which, if all is approved, will receive $10 million of that $25 million. The primary aim of that effort is to promote entrepreneurship and rebulding within Rochester. For Alex Yudelson, the Chief of Staff of the City, the money is huge, and will see major investments across the city.
“So, the Rochester Revitalization Fund will support development and pre-development in our commercial corridors, that will allow us to really transform our neighborhoods,” says Yudelson.
For Dr. Leonard Brock of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, the state funding is a serious pathway forward.
“It certainly shows New York State support to combat poverty in Rochester. I think with the huge issues we have surrounding poverty, it’s going to require a significant number of sectors and stake holders working together,” says Brock.
For Brock, the funding and the proper use of the money will require a team effort across organizations adding, “It’s really going to requite all hands on deck, it’s not just one agency or just one institution.”
Jaime Saunders with the United Way and projects like the Monroe Systems Integrations Project, cautions that much of all this might come at a slower pace, but the payoff will be worth it. She says, “Projects take time. We need the community’s patience. We need the support if we’re going to think differently in this community.”
For Yudelson, down the road, the funding and the organizations working together will give tools to those in despair, and will make Rochester a brighter spot on the map. He adds, “I think you’ll see neighborhoods that look and feel different, and that ultimately supports people; people don’t want to live in neighborhoods that don’t have a feeling of welcoming.”
The State Senate plans to vote on the Rochester poverty proposal with the larger budget proposal towards the end of March.
Monroe Systems Integrations Project: https://www.uwrochester.org/getattachment/About/Join-Our-Team/Project-Director-Monroe-County-Systems-Integration-Job-Description.pdf.aspx?lang=en-US
Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiatve: https://www.uwrochester.org/RochesterAnti-PovertyInitiative.aspx