NY Awards $800K Grant To Fight Poverty In Watertown

NY Awards $800K Grant To Fight Poverty In Watertown

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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.

As for where the money will go, Executive Director Bob Gorman says, "These are programs that will help people who are in poverty. If they access any one of these programs, it can help them and improve their lives."

Morgan Spencer is working to facilitate one of the startup programs out of the Urban Mission called Wheels to Work.

"We really want to help people get on their feet and that involves getting people to and from work," said Spencer.

Through Wheels to Work, the Urban Mission will purchase cars for as much as $4,000 to give to low-income Watertown families that need a way to get to their jobs.

Spencer says the families will learn how to maintain the vehicle and it will require a monthly payment of $100 dollars.

Another program is in the works over at Thousand Islands Habitat For Humanity, called Pathway to Home Ownership.

Executive Director Brian Drappo says the mission will focus on rehabilitating Watertown homes for families in need.

"It's actually very critical that we're able to get this money. It brings the cost of the project within an affordability range to those families," he said.

Drappo says his organization will rehab six to eight homes in the city and cover approximately $30,000 of each home.

State funding will also go to the Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County and Jefferson County Department of Employment and Training.

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