Archive | Special Reports

Relying on welfare to feed a family

In the Bronx, 28.3 percent of people live below the poverty level, while the number of people on the welfare rolls is at the lowest point since 1963. The use of food stamps, which are federally issued, has continued to rise.

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Forging a path of one’s own

After the mayor banned cell phones in public schools five years ago, Bronx-native Vernon Alcoser, 41, decided to figure out how to tap into this new, niche market. So, he bought a truck, equipped it with safe places for kids to store their electronic devices, and called it Pure Loyalty.

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Job scarcity leaves little room for second chances

: A staggering 61 percent of ex-convicts are unemployed in New York City. They struggle with the stigma of time spent behind bars, battling against the resistance of employers to allow ex-offenders back into the workplace. Richard Hairston has spent one fifth of his life behind bars and one half of his life in and out of the criminal justice system. At a time when other young people his age were going to school and getting summer jobs, Hairston was selling drugs and worrying about court dates, visiting hours, and length of sentences. Now Hairston needs work, but will anyone have him?

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For jobless, volunteering becoming a popular way to stay active

Nilka Martell, a single mother from Parkchester in the Bronx, lost her paralegal job last December. After a long, cold winter on benefits, she decided to start volunteering to fill her free time. In three months, she had turned the dirty sidewalk across the street from her apartment into a colorful flowerbed, transforming the entire block. Despite worsening unemployment figures, data from Volunteering In America shows that a growing number of New Yorkers are using their free time to volunteer.

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Looking to urban farming as a possible job-creator

Joseph Ferdinand has been on disability for 10 years, following a career as an electrician on the city’s subways. For six of those years, he has been volunteering with the Mount Hope Housing Corporation doing housing advocacy work, until he learned about aquaponics — a burgeoning urban farming trend combining the growth of plants and fish. Now, with the help of four other volunteer friends, he’s working to develop his own aquaponics organization to bring fresh food, education and jobs to the community.

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Working hard for less than a living

Cecilia Cudjoe is one of 35 million Americans—a quarter of the adult workforce—who work full time but do not make enough money to meet their families’ basic needs, Situations like Cudjoe’s highlight the difficulties of the working poor in America.

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INTERACTIVE MAP: Bronx unemployment by neighborhood

This interactive map displays the 2010 unemployment rates for each Bronx neighborhood. The darker shade green represents a higher rate of unemployment. Click on each neighborhood to see its statistics and poverty rate. SOURCE: 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates

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Graphic: Unemployment rates in the Bronx from 2005-2010

Report problems to embedding@chartle.net The chart above shows the effects of the 2008 recession on the soaring unemployment rates experienced in the Bronx, NYC and the nation at large, as well as the gradual economic recovery during the last year. Although the Bronx mostly mirrored economic trends taking place in the rest of the country, […]

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