Central Providence Opportunities Initiative logo


Central Providence Opportunities (CPO) is a two-year, $8-million, place-based effort to improve economic and social mobility in the nine neighborhoods located in the 02908 and 02909 zip codes: Olneyville, Hartford, Manton, Silver Lake, Valley, Federal Hill, Smith Hill, Elmhurst, and Mount Pleasant.

CPO is convened by ONE Neighborhood Builders.

CPO Focus Areas and Goals

Central Providence Opportunities aims to build and sustain improvements in four focus areas:



Increase production and preservation of affordable housing

Childhood Education for Ages 0 to 8

Promote and improve reading education so that more students are reading at grade level by third grade

Business Development

Support local and minority-owned businesses so they can sustain themselves and expand

On-Ramps to Living Wages

Encourage and expand training and education that will help increase residents’ wages
ONE|NB - Central Providence Opportunities - Man and Boy


We value your voice! Please subscribe to our CPO emails for project updates and ways to be involved.

ONE|NB - Central Providence Opportunities - Man with donated food.
Listening Tour

A series of community conversations began in March of 2021. To stay updated, please sign up for CPO emails and our ONE|NB newsletter.

Resident Advisory Council (RAC)

ONE|NB formed a Resident Advisory Council (RAC) of 18 individuals who reflect the diversity of Central Providence. The RAC will ensure broad, authentic engagement from residents of Central Providence so that residents and families most impacted by economic insecurity and lack of opportunities have a strong voice in recommending solutions to these problems.

Central Providence Collaborative

Community-based organizations will continue to be involved through the Central Providence Health Equity Zone (CP-HEZ) Collaborative. The Collaborative is comprised of a diverse group of more than 25 partners who act as the HEZ thought partners and implementation team.

Community Health Workers

ONE|NB currently has 14 Central Providence residents (02908/02909) participating in our Community Health Worker (CHW) registered apprenticeship. These primarily bilingual residents conduct screenings of residents for social determinants of health, work that helps us understand the needs of community residents.




ONE|NB formed a Resident Advisory Council (RAC) of 18 individuals who reflect the diversity and vibrancy of the neighborhood.

Galen Auer

A resident of 02908, has extensive experience with community engagement and outreach. Most recently served as Outreach Coordinator for the 2020 RI Census and community liaison for the RI Complete Count Committee. As an active member of LGBTQ+ Action RI, has worked to enact legislation on issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community in RI.

Janet DaSilva

Janet Da Silva, M.B.A. has 7+ years in financial services and currently works as Operations Manager of EYL University, an online educational platform focused on financial literacy and entrepreneurship. She is passionate about fostering economic empowerment in Black and brown people through education. She understands that by leveraging the gifts and talents in our communities we can solve any problem. Over the last several years she has sponsored college students in Cabo Verde to assist in the completion of their studies debt-free. Through obtaining her Masters in Business Administration with a focus in strategic planning and innovative practices from the University of Rhode Island, she knows the power of education (preparation) meeting opportunity. Janet is enjoying serving as a part of RAC and bettering the neighborhood and community she calls home.

Oluwademilade Egunjobi

A student at Classical High School, she brings her experience as the child of immigrants and an understanding of the issues facing young people and students of color. She has seen the disparities between various neighborhoods in Providence and hopes to contribute to the fight against discrimination and the school-to-prison pipeline. She is excited to work with the group to help create a safer community with more opportunities and resources for young people and families.

Oluwapelumi Egunjobi

A junior at Classical High School, she has been active in efforts to organize and advocate on behalf of students of color. She is very interested in making sure that there are counselors and resources for first-generation students to assist them in applying to and completing college. She would also like to see financial education programs for young people so that they are prepared to manage their finances and debts and be successful.

Tomeka Johnson

Works as a counselor at Codac Behavioral Healthcare, which provides treatment for opioid use disorder, helping young people and adults change their lives. Growing up in Hartford Park and Olneyville, she participated in numerous activities for youth and families run through community centers. She is happy to be part of the Resident Advisory Council to be able to provide her knowledge and thoughts on programs which can serve the youth of our community.

Angel Lopez

Resident of 02909 for 31 years. He is an advocate for health and safety initiatives at the local and state levels. With a background in accounting, he has helped numerous local businesses access resources through Restore RI program. He believes that public health equity is a key priority for the improvement of the community, and that lack of information about health leads to negative outcomes. He looks forward to using his communications skills and relationships to support this initiative.

Falisha Mack

A lifelong resident of Central Providence, she is currently a student at Community College of RI and works for the afterschool program at the Providence YWCA. She is interested in being involved, because it is important to bring resources to neighborhoods that don’t have the same programs and opportunities as wealthier neighborhoods

Erin Papa

She is an involved resident of 02909 and a faculty member at Rhode Island College in World Languages Education. She coordinates the RIC-Mt.Pleasant High School partnership and is an active volunteer with the Olneyville Neighborhood Association. She also directs the Coalition for a Multilingual RI, which is dedicated to creating a culturally sustaining educational environment where all Rhode Island students learn in multiple languages from Pre-K to college. She is excited to work with the Resident Advisory Council to make sure there are opportunities for immigrants and non-native English speakers to have a real voice in the initiative.

Shelley Peterson

A resident of Elmhurst neighborhood for the last 16 years, she has worked with neighbors to promote green spaces and parks, including being a founding member of Friends of Fargnoli Park. Works as grantwriter for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of RI and is on the board of RI Habitat for Humanity-Greater Providence, where she advocates for affordable homeownership opportunities for low-income families.

Dania Polanco

Has lived in Providence since immigrating from the Dominican Republic in 2006. As a first-generation college student at Providence College (graduating in 2021), she has seen first-hand the importance of advocacy and communication to ensure that all residents have access to resources and programs. She plans to use her personal experience and educational knowledge to advocate for the changes that the Providence community deserves.

Lisa Ranglin

Founder and President of the RI Black Business Association. 20+ years of experience in the financial sector. Has lived in the neighborhood for 40+ years and is passionate about leveraging the talents and experience of residents and business owners to find their own answers and solutions to challenges facing the community.

Patricia Reaves

A resident of Smith Hill, she has been very involved in organizing community events and activities. She has a background in accounting and has many years of experience working with insurance and finance companies. She is interested in participating in the development of initiatives and activities to benefit all families and bring improvement to the community she calls home.

Jennifer Recinos

Born and raised in Olneyville, she has a deep understanding of issues facing low-income and immigrant communities in Providence. Jenn has been involved with the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council for many years, first as a River Ranger and now as a member of the Board. She brings a lens of anti-displacement and anti-gentrification and hopes to represent residents who are not always invited to be part of these kinds of initiatives.

Elmer Stanley

A board member of ONE Neighborhood Builders, he has lived in the Olneyville neighborhood for 14 years. He has extensive experience with resident engagement and outreach and has served as Resident Engagement and Leadership Development Coordinator for Making Connections Providence.

Leah Stuckey

Has lived in 02908 on Manton Ave. for 11 years. Active member of Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships (SOAR) and Providence Housing Authority Wellness Team. Active in addressing issues of food access, drug abuse, mental health, and domestic violence.

Matt Tracy

A painter and mapmaker in Providence since 1999, with a deep interest in plants and natural systems. Recently, he propagated wild plants from the Woonasquatucket River watershed to create an installation at the Dirt Palace in Providence. An environmental advocate, he serves on the board of the Northern Rhode Island Conservation District. Among his top concerns are inclusive planning, affordable housing, and support for small “mom and pop” businesses, which are the backbone of our neighborhoods.

Michelle Ziobrowski

A lifelong resident of Central Providence, she has been a volunteer on many campaigns to improve her community. She has a wide network of relationships in the community and works with neighbors to make sure that long-time residents are not uprooted as the neighborhood undergoes changes. She wants to make sure Central Providence remains a diverse community, with services and programs for elderly, disabled, immigrant, and low-income families.

Karen Zuniga

A resident of Central Providence, she currently serves as a community health worker for ONE Neighborhood Builders, working to address health disparities by directly connecting residents to available resources, including helping families deal with the ongoing pandemic. She has seen the negative impact of health and economic disparities in the community and is hoping to work with other members to make sure we address health equity issues.













Q1: What types of investments will be made with the $8 million grant?

Investments in initiatives will be guided by four key principles:

  1. Scale: investments will contribute the design of policy or the implementation of services to make sure more people in Central Providence have access to quality services, particularly households that have been historically marginalized.
  2. Leveraging: investments will draw additional government or private funds into programs in Central Providence through multiple policies or interventions.
  3. Innovation: we will use the flexibility of the funds to invest in catalytic projects that are identified through the lived experience of community members that may include innovative approaches to existing barriers or addressing gaps in responses to key issues.
  4. Community engagement: investments will respond to community voice and identification of barriers they face, and should expand opportunities for community members, particularly those who have not been engaged.

Q2: What is the connection between Central Providence HEZ and CPO?

ONE Neighborhood Builders is the “backbone” or convening organization for both the CP-HEZ and CPO initiative. The primary goals of the CP-HEZ and CPO are to address community inequities by identifying barriers and solutions, lifting community voice, and creating increased access to opportunities.

Community voice is a key piece of the CP-HEZ. The CP-HEZ holds regular “Collaborative” meetings that include Community Health Workers and stakeholders who report on critical community needs and updates. The CPO will rely on the Collaborative’s input as well as input from the Resident Advisory Council in creating proposed solutions. 

Q3: What do you mean by "social and economic mobility?"

Systemic racism and discrimination have led to economic insecurity and lack of opportunity.  The CPO will focus on equity in Central Providence by addressing systemic barriers and finding solutions to create enduring change. 

Social mobility is the movement of a person, people, family/household or group on a social ladder or position in society.

Economic mobility represents the ability of a person, people, family/household, or group to increase their income and/or wealth.

Q4. How are you evaluating your impact and recording what you are learning?

The CPO initiative has an Evaluation and Learning Working Group, which will ensure that evaluation activities are in line with CPO project goals and milestones. The Evaluation and Learning Working Group will work with the entire CPO initiative to collect important community data and document learning throughout two-year initiative. This group will ensure that evaluations assess the CPO’s short-term impact and will identify ways the initiative could be expanded or replicated.



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