Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative

The Buffalo Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative is a community collaborative of stakeholders aligned to reduce poverty in the City of Buffalo. Community feedback from individuals and families living in financial hardship is fundamental to our mission.


Buffalo ESPRI is committed to reducing barriers for those living in poverty and financial hardship. Through a comprehensive systems approach to workforce development, we hope to provide families with opportunities, information, and tools to find a job with a sustainable living wage and provide supportive services to ensure financial stability.

Community Assessment: 

Click below to download a copy of our community assessment.



Executive Summary                         Full Report

What is 211?


2-1-1 WNY is your free and confidential phone number and link to health and human services.

Every day, across Western New York, people just like you are looking for help. 2-1-1 WNY is here 24-

hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, providing information on health and human service programs available to assist you.



January 2016 - Governor Cuomo Unveils the ESPRI Project

January 2017 - Task Force is assembled with 28 local partners present

April 2017 - Action plan for Community Assessment is published

June 2017 - Community Conversation on Financial Hardship Harvey Austin School

June 2017 - Community Pop-Up Event at  PUSH Community Concert

June 2017 - Community Outreach Juneteenth Festival at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Park

June 2017 - Community Conversation on Financial Hardship at the Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church

July 2017 - 900 Surveys collected, research report is started based on community data

September 2017 - Community Outreach and Engagement Report Completed

October 2017 - Report Back to the Community at True Bethel Church on Community Outreach Engagement Report findings

November 2017 -  Phase II Implementation Plan will be Submitted to the State


Our Partners:

Back to Basics Outreach Ministries

Belmont Housing Resource for WNY

Buffalo Centers for Arts & Technology (BCAT)

Buffalo Employment and Training Center (BETC)

Buffalo Niagara Partnership

Buffalo Public Schools

Buffalo Urban League

Community Action Organization (CAO)

Catholic Charities of Buffalo

City of Buffalo Office of New Americans

Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo

Greater Buffalo United Ministries


Hispanics United

Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church


New Water

Make Communities

Open Buffalo

PUSH Buffalo

Salvation Army

Say Yes Buffalo

True Bethel Baptist Church

Westminster Economic Development Initiative, Inc. (WEDI)

Workforce Investment Board (WIB)