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United Way report details local families' financial struggles

Nov 30, 2016 12:03 am
Nina Schutzman reports in The Poughkeepsie Journal that a new report from United Way of New York says nearly 40 percent of Dutchess County families, and 45 percent of Ulster County families, struggle to make ends meet. April Messina, for instance, who recently moved from Poughkeepsie to Ulster County, says her family-of-four makes just too much to qualify for food stamps, but not enough to live comfortably. "There are so many people like me," said Messina. "When I see the (poverty) statistics, I don't really believe it. I feel like I struggle more" than people who make less money but qualify for more public assistance. While the unemployment rate is very low in the Hudson Valley currently, the United Way also rated Dutchess and surrounding counties as "poor" for housing affordability. "We wanted to put a face on the people who" are working but their wages don't allow them to meet their basic needs," said Reg Foster, United Way of New York State president and CEO. "We don’t have ready-made solutions ... but this isn’t the end for us." Read the full story in The Poughkeepsie Journal.