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Legislators Vote to Increase Funding for Community Poverty Reduction

Staff Report

Photo by Mieke Campbell on Unsplash.

New legislation has recently passed that will deliver federal resources to help reduce poverty in Rochester.

The legislation, the Community Services Block Grant Modernization Act of 2022, are grants established for several organizations to provide services for various issues associated with poverty.  

“For decades, the Community Services Block Grant program has been crucial to uplifting low-income families out of poverty through job training programs, housing initiatives and health services,” Morelle said. 

Morelle said though unfortunate, the program had been severely underfunded, preventing organizations in the community from acquiring the tools they needed to deliver the vital support to families. 

“This new legislation will make long-overdue enhancements to the CSBG program to make the dream of economic stability a reality for Rochester families,” he said.

Specifically, the Community Services Block Grant Modernization Act of 2022 will:

  • Make robust investments in the CSBG program by increasing the annual funding authorization level;
  • Require all 50 states to expand the income eligibility for CSBG services;
  • Increase accountability and performance requirements for CSBG grantees;
  • Support new and innovative approaches to reduce poverty through a new Community Action Innovations Program.

The Division of Community Services that manages the grant directs funding to non-profit organizations dedicated to helping low-income and poor families across New York State with necessary services, including employment assistance and training, emergency food and housing, child care, home heating and much more, according to the Department of State website.

The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program supports a network of more than 1,000 organizations nationwide that help local communities reduce poverty. According to the United States Census Bureau. Nearly half of all children in Rochester live in poverty—the second highest rate in the nation for areas with a population of 100,000 or more.

CSBG organizations receiving the grants have helped more than nine million individuals—including nearly five million families—achieve economic stability, secure meaningful employment and education, gain and improve job-related skills, obtain housing and participate in their communities in 2019.

For more information on the Community Services Block Grant visit https://dos.ny.gov/community-services-block-grant.