In a time where economic recession is on the rise, poverty stricken communities feel the blow the hardest. The South Bronx is no exception. It is the epicenter of severe poverty in the city and the southwestern portion of the Bronx, which includes the neighborhoods of Hunts Point, Mott Haven, Port Morris and Melrose. The borough also has the highest unemployment rate in the city at 24%.
According to a poll conducted by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness, about 47% of borough residents fear they will be homeless due to the poverty, unemployment and lack of education.
However, there are several community and nonprofit efforts in place fighting this epidemic. Organizations such as the Job Corps is a no-cost education and vocational training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16 through 24 improve the quality of their lives through vocational and academic training. Other organizations like SSBX work to find solutions to issues of pollution and employment by cleaning up the neighborhood while focusing on building more green jobs and bringing parks and green industry to the community. The Southern Bronx Watershed Alliance, a coalition of community-based and city-wide organizations striving to rebuild the community through projects in the southern Bronx River watershed to help the community reap the benefits of the river as a rich natural and recreational resource.
SoBro, an economic development corporation is also looking to do the same by providing jobs and job training while utilizing vacant lots for businesses to start up.