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Niagara County Poverty Conference observes 5th anniversary

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Mon, Feb 27th 2017 02:20 pm

Nearly 200 attendees expected to explore topic of 'Interrupting Poverty'

On Friday, more than 170 individuals from across Niagara and Erie counties will convene at the fifth annual Niagara County Poverty Conference to discuss ideas on alleviating poverty.

The all-day event, to be held at the Niagara Falls Housing Authority's Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building, is presented annually by the Niagara County Coalition for Services to the Homeless, along with Buffalo/Niagara Falls and Erie/Niagara Counties Continuum of Care, and Niagara University.

"Each year, the conference committee looks to bring in new and interesting ideas from other areas of the region or country, and introduce them to the agencies, organizations and community members that attend the event," said Christian Hoffman, co-chair of the conference. "This year is no different, as we are excited to discuss what small tweaks in existing services can make big differences to individuals and families struggling to get by."

Anthony Barrows and Julie Chambers of ideas42 will keynote the conference, titled "Interrupting Poverty." Their nonprofit design and consulting firm uses insights from behavioral sciences to address complex social problems. Their white paper, "Poverty Interrupted" (available at http://bit.ly/i42PovertyInterrupted), sparked the design of this year's event.

Nicole Tzetzo of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation will follow, introducing attendees to her organization's work in Western New York and Southeast Michigan. The morning session will wrap up with a funders' roundtable featuring the Health Foundation of Western & Central New York, the KeyBank Foundation and the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. The focus of this session will be how each work to interrupt poverty, particularly with a lens toward two-generation approaches, or those that simultaneously serve both vulnerable children and their parents.

Afternoon sessions will discuss Niagara Falls' recent inclusion in the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI), and the impact, along with local projects aimed toward breaking the cycle of poverty.

The YWCA of Niagara's Catering Crew, a social enterprise dedicated to helping women become economically self-sufficient, will provide breakfast and lunch for the event.

For more information, visit www.niagara.edu/povertyconference.

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