Tuesday, September 21, 2010

CHOW Article about Poverty

Poverty Rates Soar
By WBNG News

September 20, 2010

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Affordable housing is hard to come by these days in the Southern Tier.

As of 2009, the US Census Bureau reports that 1 in 7 Americans now live below the poverty line.

Action News Reporter Haley Burton tells us how the need for help continues to grow.

This brand new apartment building on Liberty Street in Binghamton is just one of Opportunities for Broome's 14 low-income housing properties.

It's still not easy to get a key to move in.

"The need has just been fantastic. People just really who were once working and had these jobs are now unemployed or underemployed and just aren't able to meet the bills that they had and really now are just trying to adjust to their situation now," said Kelly Robertson, Program Director for Opportunities for Broome.

The waiting list is so long Robertson says she can't even put a time-stamp on it.

OFB says it gets 15 to 20 calls a day from people in need, many of which who are looking for housing.

The Rescue Mission at the First Presbyterian Church in Binghamton gets multiple calls each day with people looking for somewhere to live.

It's not just people who are homeless but those who no longer can afford their rent, utilities or are in fear of being evicted.

With more people in need, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse is having a hard time keeping its shelves stocked.

There's plenty of chips and sodas.

The healthy shelf stable food is not there to give out through the pantries.

"We're trying to keep them filled with that type of food. It's causing us to buy more so we've been buying more. the state government has had some issues trying to keep up with their contracts as far as those things so, so we've been struggling to keep our pantry stocked," said Reverend Dr. Joe Sellepack, Executive Director for Broome County Council of Churches.

Local organizations say they are trying their hardest to meet the demand.

But with 44 million Americans now living in poverty, it's difficult to keep up.

In Binghamton, Haley Burton, WBNG-TV Action News.

As of 2009, the Census Bureau reports 14.3 percent of Americans are now living in poverty.

For more information and how to get help through Opportunities for Broome, go to their website at www.ofbonline.org or call (607) 723-6493.

For a list of Soup Kitchens and Community Meals in Broome County, you can visit http://www.broomecouncil.net

View Article and Video Here

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