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 . 

Increasingly public schools have to do far more for children than teach reading, math and other subjects.  They’ve become the first line of defense against poverty for the school kids and their families.  Services from nutrition and health, to housing, child care and mental health have become necessities for schools to handle – if they want the students to be in school and prepared to learn. 

WAER’s Chris Bolt spent some time in Franklin Elementary School and found out school social workers are an indispensable link between poverty and school success.

The numbers are staggering.  On any given day, about 25 Syracuse residents are forced to pack up their belongings and find another place to live.  They’re among the 8,000 to 11,000 renters who are evicted every year in Syracuse.  That’s the highest rate in upstate New York.  Why evictions are so prevalent?  Where can people turn for help? 

Throughout the early stages of City Limits, we have briefly discussed the concept of food insecurity. How do families living in poverty function day to day when they are unsure of how they will obtain their next meal?

For those struggling with poverty entering into a legal dispute is not only a challenge but it could also become nearly impossible. Ranging from evictions, divorce, and court hearings without the means to acquire legal assistance some are left to fend for themselves and they might not be equipped to do so adequately. 

Recently WAER held a City Limits Talk round table discussion centered around the topic of legal assistance and how it is impacting poverty in Syracuse. The discussion was moderated by WAER's News Director Chris Bolt.

The City Limits Talk panel included-

Those in our community who are unemployed or underemployed face a daily challenge of surviving from one day to the next and struggle to meet basic needs like food and shelter.  Who is there to catch them when they fall?  In this episode of City Limits, Brian Moore examines important safety net programs, challenges assumptions about who uses them, and the local impact from national policy-making.


Those battling poverty face many stresses, and their own health may not be a top priority. But at Step Up Moment, the volunteers push participants to realize it should be one. City Limits’ Katie Zilcosky tells us how they’re doing it. 

This episode is part of the City Limits sub series On The Front Lines, which examines individuals and agencies making a difference in Syracuse's poverty problem.

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

Unpredictable life circumstances sometimes force people to seek shelter and special help.  Salvation Army specialized housing programs here in Syracuse are serving people who become homeless in our community and provide them an opportunity for a fresh start. 

City Limits' John Smith has the very personal stories of two women thrust into homelessness by bad circumstances … but found assistance to aid them as they work towards a brighter future. 

Struggling to find a good paying job and being able to pay your bills at times is a significant challenge. Now imagine that you do not speak the language native to your home. How would you find work? Where would you turn to for assistance? City Limits' Brian Moore attempts to answer these question in this latest report.

Catch up on previous reports and find out more information on the project by going to CityLimitsProject.org

For many of us, getting in the car and going to work is something we take for granted.  But for others struggling to get by, that trip to work can be a barrier between a decent paying job that could lift them out of poverty.    WAER’s Scott Willis takes a look at one solution that seems to be working for a handful of residents.

If you like what you hear find more content from the project at CityLimitsProject.org . And subscribe in ITunes for automatic delivery of new episodes.

With Interstate 81 declared to have outlived it's useful life, there are some who see the future of the highway as an opportunity to make a difference in the staggering poverty crisis in the city. WAER’s Kijin Higashibaba looks back on the history of the highway to understand why.

If you like what you hear find more content from the project at CityLimitsProject.org . And subscribe in ITunes for automatic delivery of new episodes

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