Poverty Initiative Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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Poverty Initiative

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Systemic Changes

  • Physical ease of access – jobs in communities where poor live or transportation to get people to where the jobs are

  • Jobs skills training – how do we get people ready to get a job; both technical and soft skills

  • Identify a career path for any job. We need menial jobs done and we need to identify a path up

  • Linking training & outcomes to real job and hold placement accountable

  • Employing students and linking that to graduation

  • Training for the “right” job; jobs that actually exist in our community

  • Making employer incentives easier; tax policy

  • Tying training to economic development

  • Childcare as part of job training, search, when the get a job

  • Transportation to jobs

  • Are jobs available, are they family friendly – soft skills (interpersonal, scheduling, etc.)

  • Support through the process through coaching/mentoring; sending people “out” before they’re ready

  • Access to computers and computer skills to fulfill job applications

  • Disqualifiers (hs diploma, diploma equivalent) separate from actual skill

  • Help employers address re-entry issues (incarceration)

  • Skills gap that can’t be addressed by SMB (can’t pay for training while someone is on the job); address capacity issues through associations

  • Make work pay – tax credits, child care assistance

  • Community benefit agreements like in Buffalo with the port work

  • Language skills training for newcomers to the country

  • Database on workforce

  • Incentive more volunteers to work with job skills, work mentors

  • Workforce development group is doing this work. Heard a plan about Edison, East and MCC plans ; WPA/CCC kind of program – getting people ready for a first job and get employers to step up to hire those jobs; government can create the first jobs

  • Segment it b/c there’s not enough $ to solve it all over the community – focus on few key neighborhoods vs. a little bit everywhere

Programmatic Changes

  • Database that takes info from “any door” that tracks education, job skills training, etc. to move people along a continuum of progress; how do we track “where folks are”

  • Connectivity; dashboard for all agencies, providers

  • Subsidize salary (NY Works, Rochester Works)

  • Respect for the worker, no matter what level – we can’t just “tolerate” working teens, young people

  • Opportunity for people on public assistance to encourage employers to hire by diverting public assistance to be part of the pay; continued employment after subsidy is over

  • Catalog for employers for what is available to them in terms of subsidies, programs, on-job coaching

  • Economic development programs like comida that should be doing good things, but don’t always; make that program work and extend it to all level of employers

  • Mobile jobs unit ala mobile healthcare United Way of Greater Rochester

  • 42% don’t have HS diploma/equivalency which is required for the training programs we’re discussing; need to lower requirements

  • Integrate academics into sills training

  • Change from facility based entity to an in-community based service (e.g., mobile)

  • Bring resources into the community that also leverages database both ways (info from database and updating info)

  • Make sure program level providers know what’s out there so a central database could help food worker to ID work programs for example

  • Giving people what they need vs. a prescribed amount of training, etc.

  • Expand job opportunities for teens to get them ready for work earlier and build strong skills

  • 17/18 projected hs grad rate is 70%, but college/career ready is only 30% -- all graduates need to be college and career ready

  • Acknowledge most people in poverty are working already so connect with HR/EA of workplaces to understand the challenges that working poor face and what leads to termination to address issues of people already working vs. needing to get into workplace

  • Retention vs. acquisition in terms of jobs

  • One size doesn’t fit all in terms of job readiness; flexibility of how we spend the funding across all horizontal issues we might need to address

  • Entrepreneurship training and access to capital

  • Systemic reconsideration of the bonafied qualifications into entry level positions, CTE programs

  • Middle skills jobs aren’t being filled and low way workers not making ends meet; bridge subsidies, rainy day funds (drop out b/c of car break downs)

Public Policy Changes

  • Structure so people on public assistance can get 2 or 4 year degrees; led to sustainable jobs; Changing public assistance rules to change work first as the only way to look at solving the problem

  • Ease of use, ease of access for the subsidy so employers want to participate

  • Consequences for families where kids aren’t involved in school to encourage early learning

  • Robust summer jobs program with less restrictions and the need to expand funding/allow flexibility past the 6 weeks of summer to extend the skills, income, etc.

  • Give people $ to give them what they need to do to connect to jobs so they can get employed and sustain that job; efficiency of giving some poor people some money; grants (perhaps $6K) to pull out of poverty

  • Education is a civil right and we need to be transparent in our graduation rate (does “passing” really make a kid ready to graduate, get a job; no curve grading, etc.)

  • Investment in the workforce and the kids for a sustainable future - investment not subsidy

  • ESD loan loss reserve program only for minority business that have state contracts – expand this program beyond that limited scope

  • MA passed community investment tax credit – limited community development tax credit that invest in non-profits that have a community development plan

  • State contracted companies need a provision that they hire teenagers that is tied to the state award

  • More right doors – what is the incentive of the nfps to collaborative more aggressively. In the profit world there are tax incentives; what are our incentives.

  • Community organizations need requirement to build integrated plans, integration is key

  • Child care investments can support chidren’s educational development, parents career development and the small business owners who run many child care agencies. The staff of the child care centers are often the people being helped so investing there helps on two fronts

  • Leverage success of employment partners (vs. job provider) for teens

  • Barriers for some teens in some industries (e.g., manufacturing)

  • Flexibility btw. Funding silos and regulation of those funds; state government can fix some of those issues; governor can request federal waivers

  • Tax subsides might work for businesses, but don’t necessarily work for local government – how can we make those incentives work for local government

  • A lot of policies don’t apply to small businesses (e.g., sexual harassment, gender) which might be a barrier to employment; employers need to be educated on issues of race, ethnicity, gender, etc.

Heath & Nutrition

Systemic Changes

  • Need to capture the impact of savings in the health area -- global budgeting concept – look at the health status of a population and see how non-medical services (i.e., social services) affect health status of a community; how can we leverage health care spending at non-traditional health care locations in community that can benefit health; document how these interventions affect outcomes

  • How can we affect non-sustainable funding we’re facing

  • Using predictive analytics across the system

  • Access to healthcare; how to navigate the health system

  • Discourage investing energy redesign of health care delivery network

  • More integration in addressing physical, mental and dental issues

  • 25-40K/year – addressing those who find healthcare unaffordable, but aren’t able to be subsidized

  • Address the right issues affecting our people and address them holistically; can’t address HBP when people have no money, rats in the basement; let’s solve a family’s overall issues vs. focusing on one “community” issue

  • Case management model – Brighton, JFS model – can be used as a county-level model; measure analytics and allows movement of people with secure info/tracking of services/etc.

  • Practical access to services where people are

  • As little as 10% of a community’s health status can be attributed to health care

  • Poverty is so highly geographically concentrated so their environment is so vastly different than the normative environment so we need to truly track what’s happening within the system; strategic conversation understanding the key metrics we want to improve and how does addressing issues of poverty address our community health

  • Support person living in 100 year old home that wasn’t built for aging in place

  • Minority community – lack of professionals among providers of behavioral health that can speak the language and relate to the individuals in need

  • Outpatient systems aren’t working for impoverished communities (transportation, etc.) – looking at alternatives for mental health issues

  • Early childhood experiences have long lasting health consequences; need to be looking at prevention of childhood trauma, neglect, etc.

  • Document social determinants of health; no access to grocery stores

  • Access to nutritious food – affordably and easily accessible

Programmatic Changes

  • Make it easier for people to have whole-family solutions (what age can eat where – kids, seniors, adults; so families can’t have holistic solution)

  • Trauma effects on women and children; trauma informed care, peer support, human care vs. data collection as first “question”

  • Universal take of available government benefits -- get those to people who are eligible, but haven’t applied; how do we get everyone eligible connected to anti-poverty federal programs

  • Access programs to assist where/when need happens – kids eat less in winter when families need to heat their homes

  • Inform families on connection btw. Nutrition and academic success

  • How we incentivize non-profits/schools; we see good outcomes but then b/c of changes (age, location) we lose case management history/nfp cohesiveness

  • State level is delinking health and nutrition systems

  • Last study on pre-k was done by American medical association – Pre k addresses health and changes economic opportunity for child and family overall

  • 2 generation programs improve health of both moms & kids; also lift families out of poverty

  • Nutrition element of community gardens to provide opportunity to learn about food, but has economic and community building benefits

  • Address environmental aspects of the home; asthma triggers, lead poisoning

  • 51M hours of school were lost b/c of lack of dental care; affects nutrition and overall health

  • Health homes – adult now; kids in 2016 – connect with that movement

  • Groceries on wheels ala meals on wheels

  • Social determinants of health have many holistic predictors that have nothing to do with health (e.g., house needs roof, house becomes abandoned/destroyed, rats move into house next door)

  • Family caregivers that must leave job to take care of things at home

Public Policy Changes

  • Unhealthy behaviors more expensive and healthy behaviors cheap

  • Raise tax on unhealthy activities and use revenue on healthy outlets/options

  • Adding income supplement vastly improves family health

  • Reimbursement for food/snacks – make it easier for childcare providers to supply (cacfp)

  • Misdiagnosis of adhd that become reliant on medications/substance; be cautious on how we diagnose young people and address those issues

  • HIPPA issues in terms of communication btw. Organizations

  • Interoperability of the systems to have systems talk to each other

  • Largest health barrier to employment are mental health issues; not robust enough, not staffed/reimbursed enough

  • Fresh connect funding – expand outlet points, people that use it

  • Misidentification of kids into special education is disproportionate for minorities, people in poverty which leads to more intense/acute mental health issues

  • Look inside RCSD identification of adhd/learning issues; could be a reaction to trauma

  • Need consistency in medical care to identify systemic health issues

  • Diagnostic systems for mental health aren’t family friendly and don’t take into account issues in kids under 6 and they’re not necessarily reimbursable

  • More places (e.g., nonprofits) that can address health issues beyond traditional health outlets

  • Kids behaviors are directly impacted by their situation (poverty, hunger, dental issues); school looks for more support in the classroom; IEPs might drive diagnosis and then the problem isn’t necessarily fixed even if the problem behavior is on the surface (e.g., calmer kid)

  • Consider models that aren’t case management, but peer support or community support

  • Certification programs for peer support aren’t sufficient for need

Education & Workforce Training

Systemic Changes

  • Expansion of urban/suburban in taking kindergarten students to begin the process at one school

  • Opportunity for suburban kids to get into unique/good programs in the city

  • Incentivize suburban districts beyond funding; ability to add support services that affect all kids in the district

  • Full service community schools has great traction throughout the nation (Cincinnati as example) with resource coordination, reduced need for transportation

  • Does urban suburban really address the issue of having the same quality of education in the city that we do in the suburbs; what rules/laws in the state are impeding the success of city schools

  • Laws focus on what you can’t do vs. what you can do; the laws need to impact learning vs. hamper it

  • Return to programs that offer jobs and hs credit; expand throughout community

  • Cannot innovate from inside a school district; must come from outside – our school district can’t do it alone; we have to change the system currently is and ensure we have a children first strategy

  • Until we get to neighborhood schools we need everyone working on a common agenda, outcomes, dashboard

  • More representation from African American, Latino leaders and really tap into the voice of the people we’re trying to help

  • How do we simplify this process to really affect the people in the community; can we focus on a particular neighborhood – what do we need to do to help YOU get out of poverty – person approach vs. system approach


Programmatic Changes


  • Address system gaps – 24mo-36mo gap in healthcare; gap btw. Out-of-school time and school time; gap for people that leave school (secondary and higher)

  • GED are not adequate

  • Differences btw. Wages/opportunities btw. skilled, low skill and unskilled jobs – can gap be filled by vocational training

Public Policy Changes

  • CTE to be counted as regents exams has created a new pathway to graduation and a path to career; earlier career exploration and opportunities

  • Create community based schools while allowing people to move across boundaries – not favoring one for the other

  • The way to be successful for kids is the way to be successful in an election – “vote early and often”…educated early and often; 3 to 3 initiative; Screening of 3 year olds to id problems across all parts of a child’s needs

  • Generation of young children that are now adolescence and making sure we don’t lose them; ensure they have a caring adult that goes beyond volunteers

  • Need adults to connect youth to services; provide a discipline they don’t have in their lives

  • Tutoring is really important to reinforce what they might be missing during the day

  • RCSD – trying to mitigate impact of poverty; time really matters to close that gap on inequality; trying to increase time that students are in instruction; more kids in summer program (currently at 1/3, want ½ for summer 2015; pre-k will start early for select classes; race to the top is being defunded so hopefully the state will fill that void of federal funding

  • Change culture within the organizations – how do we hold people on the ground accountable

  • Parents – the fastest way to get a kid out of poverty is for the parent to get a sustained job, which they can’t get if they don’t have proper childcare. Subsidies disappear once a person gets any type of job even if it’s not self-sustaining

  • Government is in the position to deal with the education system as they did in enforcing brown vs. board of education if we have the political will

  • Schools with less than 40% of poverty are successful – how do we make sure all schools are

  • Let’s do everything we can to make our city schools better -- $ should follow the child wherever the parent wants them to go

  • There are children who are growing up in poverty that are succeeding – what can we learn from them/their experiences to see how they’re getting around the obstacles

  • Wall mart foundations approach to workforce development (NO, Florida, Rochester, Essex County NJ)

  • Changing kindergarten selection process in RCSD

  • To expect that all kids start at the same place and then develop at same rate leads to not being able to meet grade-level standards – how can we mirror college policy that you can graduate faster/slower depending on “where” you came in and what you want to accomplish


Systemic Changes

  • Homeless resolution strategy report commissioned by the city – could be a foundations of framework for systemic change with three focuses (SEE WRITTEN NOTES FOR LIST)

  • Inefficiencies reduced based on what’s required by the state – staff time spent tracking payment information for clients instead of spending time with clients. Shelters granted the amount they know they need for the year instead of case by case submitting so they can go through one auditing processes instead of working to justify why clients should be allowed to stay in the shelter.

  • Making sure that domestic violence survivors are guaranteed safe housing

  • Streamlining process for those who want to transition to/from public to private housing and vice versa.

  • Grandparents in section 8 funding are putting grandchildren in their care into foster care because they will lose their section 8 funding – relaxing rules to ensure kids can stay with their grandparents

  • Young adults who don’t have a rental history need supportive services to help them gain safe housing to keep them from being homeless

  • Housing first for all – but especially for homeless kids

  • Landlords to accept section 8 vouchers (15,000 people on the waiting list for section 8 housing vouchers)

  • Housing subsidies that could be used in current housing complexes in suburban areas/being to break down the concentration of poverty

  • Incentivizing landlords be invested in their tenants staying in the same place for an amount of time (6 months+)

  • Security deposit as a roadblock to getting housing

Programmatic Changes

  • Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning as a success story for programmatic change

  • Use incentive zoning (like Brighton with senior housing) as a vehicle for creative projects requiring developers include a portion of all development as a part of a subsidy program

  • Neighborhood Revitalization program (Habitat)

    • Reformatted Habitat program to work with partners to get financial counseling for clients

    • Volunteer partners used for support services outside of the expertise of the organization

  • Funding for housing stabilization needed – easy to get funding for a wheelchair ramp to keep people in their homes but not for a roof to be repaired

  • Landlord/tenant agreement with county so that tenant don’t have to pay security deposit and county will cover damages – need to create awareness with landlords because many don’t accept it

  • Need to look at a house holistically – health, energy efficiency, safety, etc and need to integrate support services to improve that house instead of piecemealing support/grants.

  • Funding stream for getting someone housing is there, but support services after they get in the house is not there

Public Policy Changes

  • Funding an enhanced shelter allowance payable to landlords that provide quality housing so families can remain in the same place/don’t have to dislocate and disrupt children in school (shelter supplements proposed by City already)

  • Change legislation so that once someone is found safe housing that they can continue to receive support services

  • Creating access to other services such as being able to open a bank account to encourage and allow low income people to build up assets

  • Closing the gap between what a low income worker makes and what it costs for safe, affordable housing (approximately $400-$500/month)

  • Getting people in safe houses because when they’re settled they’re more likely to continue education

  • Empty houses and lots because preventative maintenance is too expensive so seniors aren’t passing on houses to others in the family – keeping wealth from being passed down

  • Bank fees/overdrafts forgiveness

  • As sprawl to the suburbs happens, City building are left empty that could be used for low income families

  • Public infrastructure changes to help those with older houses for critical replacements that could be City’s responsibility (sewer repairs)

  • Financial education for families to break generations of poverty/patterns – financial education for kids to learn how to save, open a bank account, manage their money, about foreclosure prevention.

  • Housing first vs. having to prove that someone deserves funding/is disabled. If someone is homeless case managers have to take too many steps to get someone into safe, housing. Costs of these steps are too expensive – medical bills, etc. to get someone into a housing program. (if you want to save money help the homeless).

Safe Neighborhoods

Systemic Changes

  • Address open air drug markets

    • Helps seniors maintain health – can’t get out and walk

    • Gets rid of school to jail pipeline

    • Keeps people from leaving the neighborhood

    • People in the neighborhood don’t feel like they own the neighborhood

  • Guidebook for how to help people in the community that are having issues

  • Increase property management with RHA

  • More comprehensive approaches to violence reduction strategies – RPD working with other sources to reduce violence

  • Victim services (most are black and Latina) and they are least likely to get victim services – trauma counseling, etc.

  • Re-entry and the collective burden it places on communities – poorest, most disadvantaged communities are housing those who are re-entering into the community

  • Families who don’t believe they can move out of their current conditions due to false promises

  • Criminals leave jail/prisons and go back to their communities as “better criminals”

  • Get rid of disparities in how laws are enforced – different drugs in suburbs/city and punishments for drug offences are different

  • Money from drug busts should go back to programs in those neighborhoods

  • We don’t know enough about our neighborhoods – need a social autopsy for each neighborhood so we know the assets in those neighborhoods and what people need

  • Community elders to support redevelopment of neighborhoods

  • Child care reductions are putting pressures on families and kids are being left home alone and are less likely to be safe

  • Heroin users are unable to get help; are typically suburban people coming to the city to purchase

Programmatic Changes

  • Bringing trust back to neighborhoods through block parties, community gardens, etc to get people to communicate with either other, have pride in their community and be willing to

  • Neighborhood schools to help promote “it takes a village” – crossing guards are from the neighborhood and paying attention to the kids

  • Young cops are afraid of the neighborhoods they are patrolling don’t feel comfortable engaging in conversation or overinflate themselves

  • Focus on the issues related to fatherhood

  • Increase recreational opportunities to keep kids out of trouble

  • Reduce financial predators; check creditors, etc. that pray on the poor

  • Addressing juvenile delinquency since detention is a traumatizing experience and will cause children to be more of a challenge when they re-enter the community – find another way to solve

  • Spend more time, effort, dollars on giving people hope to keep people out of the criminal justice system – reduce abuse and neglect, etc. that turn people in to offenders

  • Create short term programs for those who have been failed by the current institutions and create long term solution to reform the institutions

  • Skillsets for inmates so they are more likely to be hired and incentivize businesses to hire former inmates

Public Policy Changes

  • Diversionary program for those who have been arrested in the open air drug market as an alternative to going to jail (restraining order keeping these people from going back to the corner to sell drug)

  • NYS only one of two states that hold 16-&17-year-olds as adults – getting rid of this would keep these kids from being incarcerated which changes them into a different person

  • Concentrated nature of poverty means that the experience of experiencing poverty is geographically concentrated – there is a very negative mental health impact of this on young people. High school students should understand the importance of good mental health

  • Creating resources for youth leagues, intergenerational programs to help promote mental, emotional and behavioral health

  • People in the communities are tired of police brutality – look at how police engage with the community

  • Talk to those in the neighborhoods about how they feel about safety in their community

  • Services (grief services, etc) for even those who don’t cooperate with law enforcement

  • Community task force emerging to tackle the issues related to school climate – remedy the program and develop a vision of what a positive school climate looks like so teachers can teach and students can learn

  • Used to have community and neighborhood leaders willing to fight for resources and safety for their neighborhoods – we‘ve lost the inclination for this leadership. Create opportunities for authentic community leadership to be the solutions we’re looking for


  • Need to have a conversation about race and how it has impacted our community politically, socially and economically

  • Refugee issues are going to have to be addressed in a different way – people coming here poor with strong work ethics and need to be kept out of the cycle of poverty

  • Ensuring that policy change can happen more quickly

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