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1 in 5 New Yorker’s are Poor: Catholic Charities is Ready to Help 

Photo Credit: Enrique Alarcon

by John-Mark de Palma

2 Min Read: According to the New York City Annual Poverty Report released Monday, one-fifth of New York’s population is classified as poor, that’s an overall poverty rate of 19%. The Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity points out that while the numbers appear high, there is an actual 1.7% reduction from the 2013 high of nearly 20.7%. This equates to 236,500 fewer poor people in New York City. Additionally, the 2017 numbers tie with the lowest rate since the city started tracking numbers in 2005. According to Matthew Klein, the executive director of the Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity, the city is on course to move 800,000 people out of poverty by 2025. 

The demographics that saw the most rapid movement out of poverty are Hispanics, Asians, and Caucasians across brackets of high school degree holders and non-citizen groups. A primary reason for the shift to non-poverty standards, according to Klein, is the city’s anti-poverty initiatives that include building or preserving 300,000 affordable housing units, universal pre-K, paid sick leave and improving social services benefits access. Another contributing factor is the increased minimum wage from $7 to $15 in 2019.  The poverty threshold for the report is $33,500 for a family of two adults and two children. The US poverty threshold is $24,858. 

The report also revealed that the population of New Yorkers “Near Poverty Rate” is 43.1%. This number, however, reflects the lowest rate since 2009, when numbers reflected a 45.9% near poverty rate.  The report defines the threshold as $50,343 for a family of four. 

Through its network of 90 affiliated agencies, Catholic Charities of New York is committed to assisting New Yorker’s in need and helping them emerge from poverty. Last year, Catholic Charities of New York helped thousands of New Yorkers:

  • 4 million meals provided through our network of soup kitchens and pantries 
  • 135,000 families in crisis assisted 
  • 53,000 help-line calls answered 
  • 11,927 family evictions prevented 
  • 12,194 people received emergency shelter 
  • 619 households assisted with SNAP benefits 
  • 2,254 youth enrolled in job placement programs 
  • 25,000 young people took part in 146 CYO programs 
  • 5,485 immigrants protected from exploitation 
  • Hundreds received job training and career guidance  

To locate services, please contact Catholic Charities at 888-744-7900 or visit our website

Related Content: 

New York City Government Poverty Measure 2017