Who is Poor in NYC? Hint: Many More People Than You Think

Host Organization: Philanthropy New York, Fund for the City of New York, The New York Community Trust, The New York Women's Foundation, and United Way of New York City


With the cost of living rising at nearly three times the rate of wages, 2.5 million working-age New Yorkers are struggling to provide food, housing and other basic necessities for their families.

Since its introduction in 2000, The Self-Sufficiency Standard for NYC has shifted the conversation from poverty to self-sufficiency and informed advocacy efforts, such as expanding tax credits for working households, reducing fares for low-income riders, and reforming New York’s equal pay laws and policies. Yet the most recent update shows that 40% of households still do not make enough money to make ends meet.

The households living below self-sufficiency face complex and interdependent challenges, so the solutions must be coordinated and interconnected.

Join us for a brief presentation highlighting the findings of the updated research: United Way of New York City, The Women’s Center for Education and Career Advancement, City Harvest, and The New York Community Trust released “Overlooked & Undercounted: The Self-Sufficiency Standard for New York City,” a study that determines the amount of income a working family of a specific composition must earn to meet its basic needs without public or private assistance. The presentation will be followed by a panel of cross-sector stakeholders reflecting on how to move from ideas to action.


  • Rates of self-sufficiency in New York City, including characteristics of households that are most affected by income inadequacy, and the roles of education and employment in advancing self-sufficiency
  • Policy changes that would be most impactful on advancing self-sufficiency, particularly among traditionally marginalized populations
  • Roles that philanthropists, policymakers, service providers, employers and others can play in advancing coordinated solutions for our communities


  • Rachel Kelly, Director of Partner Resources, Starbucks
  • Merble Reagon, Executive Director, Women's Center for Education and Career Advancement
  • Jilly Stephens, Chief Executive Officer, City Harvest
  • Sheena Wright, President and CEO, United Way of New York City
  • Patricia Swann (Moderator), Senior Program Officer, The New York Community Trust

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