PROVIDENCE, RI— June 2, 2021 — The Resident Advisory Council for Central Providence Opportunities announced on Wednesday, June 2, that it is seeking grant applications for the Central Providence Opportunities Resident Advisory Council Community Impact Fund.

The 18-member Resident Advisory Council (RAC) will provide grants of up to $5,000 each to support creative, community-driven projects that support the goals and objectives of Central Providence Opportunities. Nonprofit organizations and small businesses that meet the definition of micro-enterprises (9 or fewer employees) are eligible to apply for the grants.

Grantees may undertake a range of activities that directly benefit the well-being and quality of life of residents of the 02908 and 02909 ZIP codes. Prospective projects might be neighborhood beautification projects, the support and promotion of local entrepreneurs, neighborhood-based coordination and information-sharing, youth engagement or resident empowerment, amplification of local voices, and civic engagement initiatives.

“This is a great opportunity to invest in the kind of project that a small business or nonprofit might otherwise not be able to do—perhaps a beautification project, a support program, or special event,” said RAC Member Shelley Peterson, who is especially looking forward to when the Resident Advisory Council reviews applications and selects grant winners. “I’m very appreciative of this group of people within our neighborhoods, and I love that we bring together our different perspectives as we work to do more for our community.”

Collaborations led by residents of the 02908 and 02909 ZIP codes are eligible to apply, as well, although the grant must be made to an organizational entity and not to an individual. Applicants do not need to be 501c3 organizations. Political campaigns are not eligible.

“We know the last year has been really difficult because of COVID-19, and this is an opportunity for us to help smaller entities in our community thrive,” RAC Member Janet Da Silva said. “Sometimes

we get used to problems and challenges that we face, but they don’t need to be normal, and we can find solutions for them. We’re hoping that grant applicants think about what small changes they can make to improve their business or nonprofit and not get used to the status quo.”

Central Providence Opportunities is an $8-million initiative whose mission is to improve the economic mobility for residents of the 02908 and 02909 ZIP codes. Economic mobility is the likelihood that children achieve a higher standard of living than the household in which they were born. The nonprofit ONE Neighborhood Builders (ONE|NB), as the backbone organization of Central Providence Opportunities, formed the Resident Advisory Council to reflect the diversity of Central Providence. The RAC works to ensure broad, authentic engagement from Central Providence residents so that those most impacted by economic insecurity and lack of opportunities have a strong voice in recommending solutions to these problems.

The Community Impact Fund will be administered by the Central Providence Opportunities Resident Advisory Council in consultation with ONE Neighborhood Builders. In total, $200,000 has been designated for the Community Impact Fund. There will be at least two rounds of funding over the next 18 months. The first grants will be awarded in the fall.

The recipients of the funds need to be located in the 02908 or 02909 ZIP codes, and the projects proposed must be delivered in those ZIP codes. Organizations that do not have a physical headquarters but do work in those ZIP codes are eligible to apply. All funded projects must be completed by August 31, 2022. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on July 30, 2021. Interested applicants may apply with a narrative or video application and shall do so by completing an online form.

Proposals will be evaluated according to how they align with the following principles:

  • Community engagement: The project brings people together and engages or deepens the participation of community residents in their communities.
  • Impact: The project has the potential to have a real impact on the quality of life and economic or social well-being of people in the neighborhoods.
  • Collaboration: The proposal encourages a partnership between two or more entities, each of whom brings unique and important strengths to the project. (While collaboration is not necessary, it is encouraged.)
  • Alignment: There is synergy between the proposal and other CPO efforts or strategies. The project would enhance coordination among partners in the 02908 and/or 02909 ZIP codes with a push for targeted results.

ONE Neighborhood Builders (ONE|NB) is a nonprofit community development leader in Rhode Island that is expanding its work to the broader Greater Providence area while maintaining its deep roots in its historic home of Olneyville. ONE|NB’s mission is to develop affordable housing and engage neighbors to cultivate healthy, vibrant, and safe communities. Since its founding in 1988, then as Olneyville Housing Corporation, ONE|NB has developed 482 affordable apartments; 130 for-sale homes for low- to moderate-income homebuyers; and nearly 34,000 square feet of commercial and community space—totaling more than $128 million of investments. ONE|NB created the first free community wireless network in Rhode Island; is the convenor of the Central Providence Health Equity Zone, which brings together residents, community organizations, health professionals, and others to address root causes of health disparities; and is the backbone organization of Central Providence Opportunities, an $8 million initiative to increase economic mobility for residents in Central Providence.