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Buffalo 3rd Poorest Large City

9:42 PM, Aug 27, 2008   |    comments
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According to U.S. Census figures, Buffalo is now the 3rd largest poor city in the nation, behind Detroit and Cleveland.

For 2007 data, 28.7 percent of the population is living in poverty. That's down from 2006, when the poverty rate was 29.9 percent.

Detroit and Cleveland topped the list.

It's partly the result of the shift away from the kinds of blue collar jobs that used to be plentiful in Buffalo.

Arlene Kaukus, Executive Director, United Way says, "We have seen the traditional industries in WNY that had good paying jobs go elsewhere."

Buffalo's Deputy Mayor, Donna Brown, says the numbers are encouraging.

"We're starting to see a turn, it's going to take time," she says, "It's not something that happens overnight, it happens over a period of time."

Brown says the city is concentrating it's efforts on connecting people with the services they need, like job training. Officials are also working with children.

"We have to increase the level of education, we have to increase the graduation rates, we have to make sure our children are prepared and understand the directions they have to go in," says Donna Brown.

Bill O'Connell from the Homeless Alliance says leaders aren't doing enough.

"If we invest in small businesses and medium size businesses instead of looking for a big out of town corporation to come in a save us, but really develop our own economic base that's the key to developing the city of Buffalo," he says.

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