Hempstead, N.Y. – The Village of Hempstead is one of 16 communities in New York State chosen to be part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI). This initiative empowers community members to work together in an effort to reduce the number of households residing in poverty and increase the number of households with earned income above poverty. As an information portal for residents and to encourage community leaders to get involved, the Village has launched www.VillageofHempsteadESPRI.org.
ESPRI’s main goal is to promote community-led change through a task force consisting of individuals impacted by or living in poverty, various services and organizations, county and state governments, public safety officials, and other entities. ESPRI in its first phase of implementation has developed several committees that are working together to review the underlying causes of poverty within various facets of the community, which includes education and child development, workforce development, the justice system, and health and wellness.
Funding for ESPRI is included in the 2016-2017 state budget and is provided by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance through a contract established with a not-for-profit organization designated by the Village of Hempstead. Because of United Way of Long Island’s extensive history of serving the Village, the organization has been selected as lead organization in this effort.
The median household income for the population of the Village of Hempstead is $55,417. With 20.7% of the Village’s 56,000 residents living under the poverty line, according to the Census Bureau. United Way of New York State’s ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report estimates that a household in Nassau County with two adults and two young children needs to earn an average of $80,940 per year to afford the life’s basic necessities. This gap in income highlights the severe necessity for ESPRI within the Village of Hempstead.
“Addressing poverty on a systemic basis and garnering support from the public is essential to bringing better job opportunities, economic growth, and community stability to the Village of Hempstead. The initiative notably allows for any resident in Hempstead to work towards making a visible change in their community,” said Mayor Don Ryan. “Available in English and Spanish, this website will be vital to spreading awareness of the initiative and increasing community involvement in helping families out of poverty.”’
To learn more about how you can join the effort to reduce poverty in Hempstead Village, visit www.villageofhempsteadespri.org, or call Biena De Peña at 631.940.3713.