Good Life Foundation Uses Hip Hop and Youth Culture Engage Youth in Syracuse

Oct 24, 2019
Good Life Youth Foudation / https://gly.foundation/

It’s not always easy to have a conversation with youth -- let alone those in poverty – about a positive future.  The Good Life Youth Foundation in Syracuse is touting some of its success by using an approach that engages kids in their ‘cultural language.’

Scott Willis / WAER-FM 88.3

The latest numbers from the US Census Bureau show the poverty rate in the City of Syracuse declined to 30 percent in 2018 to its lowest rate in a decade.  Mayor Ben Walsh says that’s down about two percent from 2017.

The fact that 30 percent of citizens in the city live below the poverty line is no reason for celebration.  The progress that we're making in decreasing the number is reason to be encouraged, and gives us motivation that we are on the right track.” 

Chris Bolt/WAER News / WAER FM

All Saints Parish in Syracuse is working to help people develop a greater understanding for those living in poverty. They’re hosting the Community Action Poverty Simulation on the 21st of the month. Participants will get the chance to walk in someone else’s shoes by assigning them a role to play in a real family.

Chris Bolt/WAER News / WAER FM

Onondaga and surrounding counties are ready to take the next step in trying to reduce the area’s high poverty rate.  A call is out this week for proposals that can address some of the barriers and challenges that make it hard for people to get out of poverty. 

City of Syracuse

The statistics about poverty in the Syracuse City School District are well known, but students' needs and the effects of poverty aren't always completely understood. Reggie Kelley started Rise Above Poverty to bring greater awareness to the basic necessities students don’t have and the stigma that they face for not having those items. 

Brad Klein/WAER News

Poverty affects much of the city of Syracuse, but one area it strikes hardest is Delaware Academy Elementary School.  A reported 98% of the student body sits below the poverty line.  One organization tackled the problem one undergarment at a time this past weekend. 

Food, water, and shelter. Those are “the essentials” that people think of when they donate to the poor.

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Nojaim Market closing on Syracuse’s Near Westside renewed a conversation about food access in some of the city’s most impoverished neighborhoods. Local officials and nonprofit leaders worried the closure would severely affect the lives of those who lived around it.

But research done by Syracuse University Master’s Student Katie Mott revealed that people living in extreme poverty didn’t view the closure of Nojaim’s as their most pressing concern. For City Limits, Katie Zilcosky talked with Katie Mott about urban poverty and food access.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The group 100 Black Men of Syracuse is trying to improve the lives of inner city youth by showing them a better future and connecting them with mentors. 

The group just elected a new President, Drake Harrison, who wants to continue the focus on young people and increase collaboration with other groups.  He worries the value and the future of children can be lost just because of where they live.

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Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon’s State of the County address Tuesday night echoed much of the optimism and ambition expressed by his friend, Mayor Ben Walsh, a few weeks ago.  They both talked about aging infrastructure. 

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Panhandlers and the homeless in the City of Syracuse will have an alternative to asking for money on the streets come May.   In My Father’s Kitchen was awarded a $180,000 county grant to help fund a day labor pilot program aimed at giving panhandlers the opportunity to work.