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Basic Needs

Meeting peoples’ basic needs and reducing poverty through targeted initiatives transform individuals’ lives, moving them from crisis to self-sufficiency. Ensuring basic needs such as food, shelter, and safety is the first step to identifying the complex, long-term issues individuals and families face. Together, we can work to provide basic needs and on collaborative solutions to success. Over 24,000 residents are defined as food insecure, indicating a lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life. Of those facing food insecurity, 25% do not qualify for SNAP or other public nutrition assistance programs. From 2018 to 2019 in the Southern Tier, there was a 30% increase in individuals facing homelessness overall and an 85% increase of families facing homelessness. New York State has the highest demand for domestic violence services in the country. In Broome County alone, law enforcement responds to 550-600 domestic incidents each month. Disasters are difficult to predict, meaning that it’s imperative that individuals are prepared when they happen and are helped back on their feet. While we work toward providing long-term positive outcomes through the three building blocks of a quality life, covering basic needs is a vital first step on the pathway to success. When needs are unmet and uncertain – if someone is hungry, if they don’t have a place to sleep, if they are in fear for their safety – the other challenges they encounter in life become even more difficult to overcome. Individuals cannot focus on getting a better job, going to school, or taking care of their health without meeting basic needs first.

Feeding America; 2018
Department of Housing and Urban Development; 2019

Funding to Support


Access to food


Emergency shelter


Domestic violence prevention


Disaster relief and preparedness

2021-2022 Projected Impact

  • 107,016 individuals in crisis will be provided access to healthy food and nutrition;
  • 575 individuals will access immediate, crisis housing;
  • 276 individuals will have their immediate needs met following a disaster;
  • 75 victims of domestic violence will receive assistance in child custody, visitation and support proceedings;
  • 125 victims of domestic violence will receive assistance in obtaining an order of protection;
  • And 250 individuals will be educated on domestic violence.

Did You Know?

Housing First programs are scientifically supported in their effectiveness as it relates to reducing homelessness, increasing housing stability, and reducing hospital utilization. Additionally, these programs may also improve mental health and wellbeing and increase substance use disorder treatment.

Some scientific evidence supports healthy food initiatives in food pantries as a means to increase food security and healthy food consumptions. These programs may also improve nutrition and weight status and decrease disparities in our community.