© 2023 WSKG

601 Gates Road
Vestal, NY 13850

217 N Aurora St
Ithaca, NY 14850

FCC Public Files:
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Produced by WSKG, Chasing the Dream is a comprehensive three-year poverty awareness campaign centered on the Southern Tier region of New York. Incorporating television, radio and digital media, this project sheds light on the root causes of local poverty, the reality of what poverty looks like in our region and the successes and challenges of poverty-reduction efforts taking place in our communities. This webpage serves as the online destination for all poverty-related content aired by WSKG and is also a resource for those seeking information on community organizations that support those living in poverty. WSKG thanks the Conrad and Virginia Klee Foundation, the Community Foundation of South Central New York, and the United Way of Broome County for their support of this project.

Agencies Across Central New York Split Over $13 Million To Fight Poverty


SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Organizations that help impoverished central New Yorkers get an education, find jobs or decent housing are getting a boost from a pot of state money meant to help the poor.

Wayne O’Connor, of the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection of Syracuse, said the extra cash will help expand his organization that focuses on workforce development, starting in the middle school years.

“It will enable us to hire five youth advocates, and some support for those advocates,” said O’Connor. “Every time we add more students, we grow the culture, we grow the program, so it’s significant.”

Hilliside is one of almost two dozen organizations in five counties, awarded a piece of the Upstate Revitalization Initiative grant. The 24-member Alliance for Economic Inclusion decided to split over $13 million between agencies that had successful programs dealing with poverty, as well as some newer ones.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said these funds can have a long-term impact.

“We’re not just putting fires out. We’re looking at us as a region and looking at systemic problems, and we’re trying to address as many of the components of a very complicated issue of poverty as we can,” said Mahoney.

$20 million out of the initial $50 million has already been earmarked for the Say Yes to Education program in the city of Syracuse. There will be another round of awards to determine winners of the $17 million dollars that’s left.

Syracuse Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens said it’s vital that funds get pumped into programs for the poor in a city with one of the worst poverty rates in the country.

“It’s the first step. We have many more steps to take, but we are well positioned to initiate these programs, to learn from what we are about to do, and to even make it better,” said Owens.