"Numbers in Need" / John R. Oishei Foundation / UB Regional Institute

A new report from the John R. Oishei Foundation and the University at Buffalo Regional Institute finds poverty on the rise across Buffalo Niagara, but many success stories as well. "Numbers in Need" revisits 12 communities that were profiled years ago, to see how residents living in or near poverty and the many service providers who work with them are faring.



Thomas O'Neil-White

Being poor is expensive. A 2016 United Way report found 26% of families in Erie County earned income above the federal poverty level, yet could not afford basic necessities to survive.

Community Missions of Niagara Frontier

Strategies for easing poverty in Niagara County are being discussed at a day-long conference at Niagara University.

More than 200 people were expected to attend the sixth annual Niagara County Poverty Conference today, which would be the largest turnout to date. This year’s theme is “Compassionate Communities: Where Do I Fit In?”

Christian Hoffman, director of communication at Community Missions of Niagara Frontier, has been involved in planning the event. Hoffman said the poverty rate in Niagara Falls is about 28 percent, while Niagara County’s rate is 18 to 20 percent.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Reaching back half a century to Martin Luther King Jr., economic activists have revived King's Poor People's Campaign with the Truth Commission on Poverty.

Rural poverty in Erie County “invisible” to many, advocate asserts

Dec 15, 2017

People often associate poverty with urban areas. But data shows that many rural communities have higher poverty rates and far more challenges when it comes to linking people to services.

A Poverty Forum was held Friday where housing specialists, public health experts, living wage advocates and others will explore a number of issues. Rural poverty was scheduled to be one of the discussion topics.

The Congressional Budget Office report released Sunday finds that the Senate tax overhaul bill harms the poorest Americans even more than originally thought.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

American schools often demonstrate racial inequality with less money to help those who need the most. That was a topic Thursday night in the symposium "A New Racial Literacy for Educational Equity" at Canisius College.

Niagara Falls City School District

For eight years, a case has wandered through New York's court system: impoverished small cities suing Albany, saying the state's system for allocating school aid is not fair to them. The districts and their lawyers are not giving up, appealing a dismissal of their cases.

Eileen Elibol

The Democratic primary election for Buffalo Mayor is Tuesday and the tension in the race seemed to make Wednesday night's debate in the WNED|WBFO studio a little angrier.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Erie County hosted a Poverty Summit in downtown Buffalo Thursday. The all-day gathering was organized to discuss issues while also pursue changes that may help bring people out of an ongoing poverty cycle.

Harsh life experiences appear to leave African-Americans vulnerable to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, researchers reported Sunday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in London.

Several teams presented evidence that poverty, disadvantage and stressful life events are strongly associated with cognitive problems in middle age and dementia later in life among African-Americans.

Food Bank of Western New York

A program that distributes food to Chautauqua County residents in need is expanding its operation.

WBFO's Eileen Buckley

New York State is setting aside $35 million to expand after-school programs.

A conference that aims to reduce poverty in Niagara and Erie counties began Friday morning.

If you’re looking for a job, a popular personal finance website says Buffalo is one of the worst cities to conduct your search.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Despite seeing the most fruitful period of economic development in recent history, many residents and areas in the City of Buffalo continue to struggle with poverty. As part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative, both the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, and the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo will help the city create a work plan to change that.

ALICE Project

It is generally agreed that the federal poverty level is outdated, so a number of other standard-of-living measurements have come into use to help provide a more well-rounded picture of financial hardship across America. The United Way's ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Project says the latest picture of New York State is "startling."

courtesy Erie County Medicaid Inspector General

Nearly a third of Erie County residents are on Medicaid and the number is rising at an average 4 percent annually, according to the latest numbers from the County's Medicaid Inspector General. The report also shows numbers that contradict what the Inspector General says are some of the misconceptions about Medicaid and who is using it.

Matt Neidhart/WBFO News

In a city where nearly a third of the population lives below the poverty line, agencies that serve economically-disadvantaged individuals play critical roles. The Buffalo City Mission has received a major contribution in its quest to provide food and shelter to those in need.


A recent study by anti-poverty groups in Toronto suggests the city is lurching toward a breakdown because of overcrowded homeless shelters. Activists say the city is failing to meet the basic requirements of its homeless population.

Jeffrey Pirrone

The largest food pantry in Western New York will now be offering more services to help people living in poverty.


They call them food deserts. Many of Buffalo’s east side residents are more than a mile away from a supermarket. This can often lead to poor eating habits.

File photo by Response to Love Center

As the Catholic world continues to celebrate the upcoming canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, her inspiration continues to be felt in the Buffalo community.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

One local state lawmaker says while Buffalo is enjoying new economic growth, it's not necessarily benefiting the city's poorest. Assemblyman Sean Ryan is proposing a new job placement program, backed by dollars from the Buffalo Billion, to chip away at the city's poverty.

Bankruptcy started as a way for a person to re-start financially, to erase debts.

Food Bank of WNY

When a bird flu wiped out 8 million turkeys, food banks across the country expressed concern that many families in financial need might be deprived of a Thanksgiving Day ritual.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

While we hear time and time again about Buffalo's economic renaissance, there remains many living in poverty, not just in the city but throughout Erie County. A new panel of volunteers is being formed by the Erie County Executive to help address the problem.

It appears Buffalo may have a powerful friend in Albany in Speaker of the State Assembly Carl Heastie.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A piece of artwork, rejected by some cities, has been installed at Cathedral Park in downtown Buffalo. St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral purchased the 'Homeless Jesus' bronze statue. As WBFO's Eileen Buckley reports, the unveiling sparked a buzz among some citizens.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

As Buffalo grapples with a high poverty rate, many immigrants and refugees are among those struggling. WBFO's Eileen Buckley talked to a Burmese immigrant who is working to help others in our community.