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May 3, 2018
For Immediate Release: May 3, 2018
Year-long study engages community members in identifying solutions to foster upward mobility and improve well-being for children and families
New York, NY – Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC) released its new report, “Celebrating Strengths, Addressing Needs: Community Driven Solutions to Improve Well-Being in Northern Manhattan.” The report is the result of a year-long assessment of child and family needs in Washington Heights, Central Harlem and West Harlem, gathered through analysis of government data and new data collected through focus groups and interviews with services providers, parents and youth.
While Northern Manhattan has experienced progress in recent years – with greater than citywide decreases in the rate of uninsured children and teen birth rates and increases in average household incomes – the report underscores how these gains have not been experienced equally among residents, and how worrisome outcomes persist related to poverty, housing stability and education, particularly for black and Latino families.
“Northern Manhattan reflects the diversity and cultural richness of New York City as a whole, while also reflecting the core challenges that impede mobility and well-being,” said Jennifer March, Executive Director of CCC. “Through participatory research, we’ve engaged community members in identifying the key challenges they face – unstable and unaffordable housing; employment opportunities with limited wage growth; underperforming schools with limited resources; lack of information and limited access to convenient, affordable supports, among others. Together, we’ve identified a set of concrete opportunities to not only improve mobility and well-being in northern Manhattan, but inform citywide policy priorities to make New York City a fairer and more equitable city for all children and families.”
In northern Manhattan, inequality between racial/ethnic groups in terms of income and opportunities for upward mobility is even greater than it is citywide:
The data demonstrates how, despite economic progress overall, there remain areas of high poverty, and the cost of living is increasing,” said Apurva Mehrotra, CCC’s Director of Research and Data Analysis. “This presents clear challenges for residents that impact their health and well-being.”
In addition to disparities in income, children and families in northern Manhattan communities experience several risks to well-being:
“Our community based work in northern Manhattan not only informed what data we collected and analyzed, but also created a space for community members to validate shared concerns, learn from one another about resources in the community, and identify opportunities to address the needs of their community,” said Bijan Kimiagar, CCC’s Senior Associate for Community-based Research and Data Analysis. “What stands out from these conversations is the desire for multi-use spaces with co-located services that make accessing information and programs a little easier for children, youth and their families.”
Among the community-informed recommendations in the report:
About Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York
Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York educates and mobilizes New Yorkers to make the city a better place for children. Since 1944, our advocacy has combined public policy research and data analysis with citizen action. We cast light on the issues, educate the public, engage allies, and identify and promote practical solutions to ensure that every New York City child is healthy, housed, educated and safe. For more information on CCC, visit our web site at www.cccnewyork.org. Stay up to date on the latest news and information regarding the well-being of New York City’s children by following us on Facebook and Twitter.
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