The Village of Hempstead was selected as one of 16 communities statewide to participate in the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI) and was awarded a $1.5M grant.  ESPRI is modeled after the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative and is an exciting opportunity for our community members to work together to develop and execute an innovative plan to reduce the number of households residing in poverty and increase the number of households with earned income above poverty. 

It is important to note that the Governor’s office, the Department of State and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance authorized me to select the administrator for this initiative and the taskforce members.  According to the requirements the administrator of this initiative will receive $300K to manage the program.  I have selected United Way of Long Island as the administrator because this organization has a history of collaboration with key communities and especially with our office.  United Way has a proven capacity to convene and cooperatively lead broad-based coalitions and has demonstrated positive working relationships with State, County and local governments.  And importantly, United Way’s leadership is representative of the diversity of our community.  

I have started the process of engaging key members of our community to participate on the Task Force.  It will include local residents and organizational representatives who are on the front lines confronting our poverty issues.   The Task Force’s mission is to collectively identify the causes of poverty in Hempstead Village and to determine sustainable solutions toward ending poverty in our community.

This process will unfold in two phases over a number of months.  It will conclude with the identification, through an RFP process, of the remaining $1.2M to established community providers selected to implement viable procedures and solutions that are sustainable - not requiring ongoing state financial support.

New York State will be closely monitoring the administration of this process which will include presence at Task Force meetings, review of budgets and the RFP process.  

Our vision is that participation in this initiative will position the Village of Hempstead to ensure that children and families in our Village will have the opportunity to live in a stable environment where the promise of economic progress is a reality.