Created: 12/11/2013 6:05 PM WHEC.com
By: Chalonda Roberts
It hits close to home, especially during the holidays. Children and families, struggling to pay for food, clothes and even find a job.
A new report from the Rochester Community Foundation puts Rochester as the fifth poorest city in the country.
Although some local agencies are shocked to hear the news about Rochester being the fifth poorest city in the country, most agree unemployment is a big part of the problem and why our city has reached this point. Right now, the unemployment rate in Rochester is 6.7%.
The Northwest Neighborhood Outreach Center serves families in poor areas of the city. The agency's executive director says Rochester has a history of philanthropy which makes the report even more surprising. Diane Argauer says although there are resources and help available for families that need food, clothes and shelter, getting a job is more difficult. She says it's because people who struggle financially might not have proper identification to apply for jobs.
Diane Argauer, Northwest Neighborhood Outreach Center, said, “We take driver's licenses for granted and obviously, a non-license or id card costs as well if you are born in Monroe County, a birth certificate costs $30 if you can't put a coat on your child. If you can't put socks on their feet, how are you going to get a birth certificate so you can better yourself by getting a job or by moving to a better apartment to make your family's life better.”
The Northwest Outreach Center does offer an identification recovery program which helps families get birth certificates for job verification.
In addition to being ranked the fifth poorest city in the country, Rochester was also ranked as the poorest school district in upstate New York. The Rochester Area Foundation issued the report and will be give a presentation on December 16 beginning at 3:00 p.m. at the United Way on College Avenue.