City Limits

City Limits a Poverty Project started as a special year-long audio reporting project that examined the living and socio-economic conditions behind the rising poverty rates in Syracuse, NY.  There are over 40 stories and conversations here to explore that focus on the many aspects and impacts of poverty on our community.  From transportation and mobility to food insecurity and education, City Limits features the voices of the people who are on the frontline of the war on poverty.

Following City Limits, a Poverty Project; the next installment, City Limits: Winds of Change will explore unconscious bias, police reform and what is being done to combat racism in Syracuse. City Limits features the voices of the people who are working to hold organizations accountable for change. Taking a broader approach, City Limits strives to bring shared community issues, concerns, and impacts into greater focus by taking the necessary time to fully explore topics for deeper understanding.

If you like what you hear find more content from the project at CityLimitsProject.org . 

Reproductive health often gets billed as a women’s issue in national conversation. But here in Syracuse, and increasingly across the globe, access to reproductive healthcare is a vital piece of the puzzle for finding a solution to poverty. For City Limits, Katie Zilcosky takes a closer look at why reproductive health matters when trying to alleviate poverty.


It’s been said time and time again that one of the keys to escaping poverty is steady employment. City Limit's Brian Moore continues to explore workforce development programs in Syracuse that are helping people gain skills and lasting employment. In the second episode of his series, he visits with employment programs that not just help the needy gain employment but also build a career.


Central New Yorkers may hold the misperception that Veterans in poverty and homelessness have been well taken care of and it’s no longer an issue that needs to be addressed.  Part of our City Limits Project is a series we’re calling “On the Front Lines” to shed light on individuals and organizations dealing with the causes and effects of poverty. 

John Smith met with veterans who went through the process to get essential services and housing.  In this installment, you’ll learn more about one place in Central New York providing support and connecting them to the right programs.


Scott Willis/WAER News

Those who represent and make policy for Syracuse residents on the city and county level know all to well the parts of their districts that are most impacted by poverty, right down the street and block.  But that intimate knowledge of residents' struggles also comes with limitations about what any one representative can do to help.  In this episode of City Limits, Scott Willis takes a walk with lawmakers to hear about glimmers of hope amid some considerable challenges


Chris Bolt/WAER News

More than 95% of those who go into jail or prison after being convicted and sentenced for a crime come out.  Ex inmates find barriers to work, affordable and safe housing, and dealing with mental health and possible addiction problems.   They’ve served their sentence, paid their debt to society.  Yet the prospect of poverty is all too real for those coming out.  Is this due to lack of community resources? … a built-in continued punishment even after serving their sentence?  … other personal challenges that need to be managed in order to avoid poverty, or a return to crime and more incarceration? 

Chris Bolt reports that help exists, such as a Re-entry Program through the Center for Community Alternatives in Syracuse, but it’s still a tricky road to navigate to beat poverty and the possibility of more crime and incarceration. 


Brian Moore

Getting and keeping a job is one of the best proven ways out of poverty. City Limit's Brian Moore explores workforce development programs in Syracuse that are helping people gain skills and lasting employment. In the first episode of his series, he goes to the Catholic Charities culinary school program and learns how cooking is a step for many into a better life. 


Amaus Dental Services

For many in poverty, healthcare can be a difficult to attain. It is even more difficult to get proper dental care. At Amaus Dental Clinic, an all volunteer staff is working to provide oral healthcare for those who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it. Their clinic is part of a study that is hoping to bring more attention to the inequality of dental care. 

As a part of our series On The Front Lines, Katie Zilcosky talked with staff and researchers at Amaus Dental to find out how they're trying to make dental care more accessible for those struggling with poverty. 


Health care isn't always a priority if you're homeless or in poverty.  Many don't have access to care or can't afford it.  But there's a collaborative effort to help some organizations fill gaps in care by offering medical and mental health services in locations you might not expect.  In this episode of City Limits, Scott Willis profiles two programs that aim to put people on a path to recovery...and perhaps out of poverty.  


Katie Zilcosky

On Syracuse's Southside, a 3 acre urban farm is growing fresh produce on the former site of nearly abandoned apartments. While Brady Farm sits in an area of high concentrated poverty, it's working towards change in more ways than just supplying accessible and affordable food. As a part of City Limits' series "On the Front Lines," Katie Zilcosky spent the day at Brady Farm learning about its larger goal.

"On The Front Lines" is made possible by the Central New York Community Foundation. 


Scott Willis/WAER News

Syracuse’s high poverty rate means many households don’t own or have access to a car.  That can limit job searches to areas reached by foot, bike, bus, or a combination of the three, making it difficult for someone in poverty to find work.  

In this episode of City Limits Scott Willis explores how the area’s transit system and infrastructure works for those trying to get around without a car, and ways they might be improved.


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