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Hempstead Village gets $1.1M to fight poverty

Officials say the state funding for programs is much needed in the village that counts 20 percent living in poverty.

The $1.1 million in grants will fund programs

The $1.1 million in grants will fund programs to aid the poor in Hempstead Village. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

New York State has awarded $1.1 million in grants to projects aimed at fighting poverty and boosting economic opportunities in Hempstead Village.

The office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last week announced the nine projects in Hempstead Village that will receive the funding through the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative, a statewide program designed to bolster 16 communities across New York State.

"I commend Hempstead for their efforts to bring meaningful change to their community and I look forward to these programs delivering results,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The grants in Hempstead include:

  • $110,000 for financial literary coaching for poor and middle-income families
  • $110,000 to help prepare high school students for placement tests
  • $109,000 for substance abuse and mental health counseling for people who are poor or homeless
  • $98,000 for job training for women who are at risk of incarceration or prior offenders

Village Mayor Don Ryan said there is no shortage of need for such programs in the village, where census data show that some 20 percent of the roughly 56,000 residents live in poverty.

“Clearly in the Village of Hempstead we've had too many people who've been impacted by the cycle of poverty,” he said.

“Any project that helps stop that trend and gets our young people onto a successful life track would be something that we would applaud.”

The awards were distributed following a monthslong selection process that began with the United Way of Long Island issuing a request for proposals in March, according to a United Way news release.

A committee of village residents and other stakeholders then evaluated project proposals and submitted recommendations to the state, said Charlene Thompson, commissioner of the village’s Community Development Agency.

Mayor Ryan said award recipients have a year to implement the programs.

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