What is Poverty?

Quite simply, poverty is a line. A line separating all Americans by one measurement: income. Those who earn over a certain threshold live above the poverty line; those with greater financial challenges live in poverty. Currently, the line is officially $31,756 for a family of four. In New York City, it’s nearly impossible to make ends meet on that income. For those living in poverty, life’s everyday hardships create a constant struggle to survive.

Since the development of the Official Poverty Measure (OPM) in the 1960s, by the federal government, the challenges facing American families, and families in New York City in particular, have grown more complex.

Poverty by the Numbers

3 in 10 New York renters spend more than half of their incomes on rent.
Over 62000 New Yorkers, including 24,000 children, sleep in homeless shelters every night.
Nearly 1000000 working New Yorkers earn less than $20,000 per year.
1/2 of New York City children living in poverty will not graduate from high school on time.
1 in 6 New Yorkers relies on soup kitchens and food pantries.
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