Watertown Moving Closer on Poverty Grant Programs

WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- The city of Watertown is hoping to move forward with its plan to help fight poverty.

Watertown was one of 16 communities to be awarded a million-dollar state grant. The city had an 80-member task force studying ways to best use that money.

The United Way of Northern New York is in charge of administering the grant. It plans on submitting its phase one of the plan to the state soon.

Some highlights of that plan are a program that will create mentors who can help those battling poverty get ahead, a home restoration program, a plan to help people who need transportation to and from work, and a program to help employers better train already hired employees to keep them employed.

"We're doing things that are slightly outside the box. These are not normal programs," ESPRI Director Peter Schmitt said. "If some of these solutions work, these may be things that other communities will want to replicate. We looked at other communities and what worked well for them."

Tuesday's meeting also offered tips for non-profit organizations on on how to apply for state funding.

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