DUNKIRK – Congressman Tom Reed says he wants to move residents away from poverty and toward self-sufficiency. On a recent visit to Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. in Dunkirk, the Corning Republican expressed his interest in working with community organizations to support individuals in the transition from poverty to self-sufficiency.
Officials with Chautauqua Opportunities walked Reed through its individual evaluation process, specifically the entrance interview, to see how the organization can be most helpful in getting individuals benefits and also how those benefits can be leveraged to help them out of poverty.
Congressman Reed said that the current welfare system is made up of a patchwork of programs, administered in different manners by different federal agencies. He added that since the programs do not work in conjunction with one another, the goal of effectively assisting and caring for the needy is often not met. Reed said that’s why he’s looking for ways to strengthen the system to better empower individuals to make sound financial decisions.
Reed also met with Chautauqua Opportunities Executive Director Roberta Keller in March in Washington to learn more about their operations and talk about ways to partner to advance their mission. The meeting in March led Reed to visit their facility firsthand in Dunkirk for an overview of their services.
Chautauqua Opportunities provides services for about 20,000 residents each year with the goal of promoting economic security and opportunity. Services include workforce development and short and long term financial planning to set individuals on a stable financial path.