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Warren: Sections Of Rochester Likened To the Great Depression

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Mayor Lovely Warren said some city neighborhoods face unemployment nearly as high as it was during the Great Depression.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Mayor Lovely Warren said some city neighborhoods face unemployment nearly as high as it was during the Great Depression. 

Unemployment is at nearly 20 percent in one northeast neighborhood. Residents say poverty effects their quality of life, along with crime and vacant buildings. They say it is time someone did something about it. 

"I would like to see the people in Congress and governors and all these people that are up in the upper class to come back to our community," David Miller said.

David Miller says people cannot find jobs in this neighborhood. He lives in the 14605 area code where unemployment is a staggering 19.9 percent. To put that in perspective, it is just shy of the 25 percent rate nationally during the Great Depression.

"It gets you frustrated. It gets you angry," he said.

Miller has been to prison and says when you cannot find a job, you have few options.

"The only thing I know is how to survive," he said.

In this neighborhood, the average family brings in $18,309 each year. About 50.2 percent live below the poverty level. 

"This 14605 zip code cannot be the only area where low-income housing is built and maintained. The concentration of poverty in Rochester has been written about; it's been talked about, but what's being done about it," Wilson Commencement Park CEO Rodric Cox-Cooper said.

Wilson Commencement Park is one of several low-income housing complexes in the neighborhood. Cox-Cooper is working to give his residents a hand up out of poverty.

"People come to this program because they want to make a change. Many have strong employment histories, but may have fallen on hard times. We make it possible for them to get back to work or stay at work or to take another route, which is the academic course," he said.

Cox-Cooper says his residents have a high success rate. Mayor Warren says she is working with MCC to create programs that will train people and give them the skills they need to land jobs. She also says she is working on programs to keep young people off the streets. 
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