Grants from Rhode Island Foundation’s COVID-19
Response Fund come as RI’ers continue to struggle with the challenges
of the COVID-impacted economy
Four Providence nonprofits are among 19 organizations
across the state will be able to help residents with food, rent, utilities and
other expenses thanks to $1 million in the latest round
of grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.
“Rhode Islanders are struggling to afford basic
necessities. These grants will help backbone community service organizations
around the state fill the gaps as people deal with having even fewer
resources,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the
Foundation. “We are so grateful to the donors who have stepped up
throughout the pandemic. We will continue to connect with charitable Rhode
Islanders to support the nonprofit organizations on the frontlines of providing
critical community services.”
The Community Action Partnership of Providence will use the
funding to cope with the rising demand for its services, particularly its food
panty and rental assistance programs.
"The residents we serve are critically vulnerable
to public health emergencies of any type. COVID-19 is even worse and more
alarming. Most of our residents are working poor or in extreme poverty,"
said Rilway Feyisitan Jr., executive director.
"Social distancing amounts to social isolation for many
seniors that we serve. We provide all residents with critical navigation for
health, social, and governmental services. We provide critical restoration of
utilities and work to eliminate shutoffs. We operate one of the largest food
pantries in the city. In many ways, we are a single source and landing spot for
many in need," he said.
The Refugee Dream Center in Providence will use the funding
to distribute supplies, perform routine check-ins, create multi-lingual public
health awareness and provide referrals to community resources. The
organization expects to assist approximately 160 majority low-income families,
which equates to about 320 children and 300 seniors/older adults.
"Challenges intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic have
resulted in increased damage within homes, given the increased occupancy within
them. The number of people coming to us for help has doubled. Many refugee
families lack important public health knowledge and lack adequate access to
vital social services such as health care, employment and education. Now we have
the resources to effectively address the needs of the community with our
limited staff," said Omar Bah, founder and executive director.
In addition to CAPP and the Refugee Dream Center,
the Center for Innovacion Mujer Latina in Providence and the R.I.
Community Food Bank in Providence are among the nonprofits that received
With this round of grants, the COVID-19 Response Fund at the
Foundation has raised and awarded approximately $7 million since
March 27 focused on those most vulnerable to the impact of the pandemic.
The grants ranged from $10,000 to $75,000.
The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most
comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with
generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $47 million and awarded a
record $56 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most
pressing issues and needs of diverse communities in 2019. Through leadership,
fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals
and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true
potential. For more information, visit rifoundation.org.