Skip to content


Empire Justice Center Serves Poor, Disabled, And Disenfranchised People In Rochester And Across New York State By Helping Them Achieve Social And Economic Advancement

Senators Secure Federal Funding To Help Rochester Working Families By Promoting Greater Economic Security And Household Stability

Senators: Investing In Rochester’s Most Vulnerable Children And Families Builds A Better Future

Continuing their long history of advocacy for at-risk and low-income children and families, including helping to secure a permanent extension of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in 2015, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $425,995 in federal funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the Empire Justice Center’s ROC Your Family's Future - EITC and ACEs Outreach & Education Project, which will help at-risk and low-income children and families in the Greater Rochester Area.

Specifically, the Project will help promote greater economic security and household stability for children disproportionately at risk for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and help eligible low-income households access the EITC, resulting in greater financial stability for families – especially needed in light of the added financial and household stress brought on by the pandemic. By implemented EITC outreach and education activities, the program aims to reduce the socioeconomic risk factors that cause childhood traumas, a significant public health issue that can cause long-term negative physical and mental health consequences among children and adults. 

“The Empire Justice Center’s ROC Your Family's Future will not only help Rochester’s working families access the Earned Income Tax Credit, a powerful anti-poverty tool that puts money back in their pockets, but will support Rochester’s most vulnerable children by addressing the financial stress factors that can cause life-altering childhood traumas,” said Senator Schumer. “These investments are critical to help reverse Rochester’s poverty rate, particularly during this unprecedented pandemic crisis. I will fight tooth and nail to continue delivering support for Rochester children and families to overcome economic insecurity.”

“As the pandemic continues, we must ensure New York families have access to the tools needed to lead healthy lives and stay above the poverty line,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The Empire Justice Center’s Your Family’s Future program will empower underserved and low-income families in Rochester to reach financial stability and access the critical Earned Income Tax Credit. Now more than ever, we must support our communities and ensure every family has the information and tools required to stay healthy and safe – regardless of race, background, or socioeconomic status.”

“Empire Justice Center is honored to receive this award, which will allows us to serve low-income, racially, and ethnically minority working families in the Greater Rochester area.  As a long-time service provider in Rochester, Empire Justice Center has deep ties to the community, and expertise in helping  low-income families achieve better health outcomes and financial stability. We look forward to making a meaningful impact in our communities and thank Senators Gillibrand and Schumer for their support over the years," said Berta Rivera, CASH Director at Empire Justice Center.

The goals of the ROC Your Family's Future Project are as follows: 1) decrease ACEs for children in the Rochester Area, 2)  strengthen knowledge gain about the EITC among service providers to increase overall knowledge in the community, resulting in more financial stability for families claiming EITC, and 3) promote greater economic mobility and household stability among under-served populations claiming EITC and engage in community based services and supports.

The Empire Justice Center serves poor, disabled, and disenfranchised people in Rochester and across New York State by protecting and strengthening their legal rights to help them achieve social and economic justice. Since the nonprofit, public interest law firm opened in 1973, the Center has served 11.3 million people. This funding for the Empire Justice Center was awarded as part of the HHS Office of Minority Health’s Community-Based Approaches to Strengthening Economic Supports for Working Families initiative