Rethinking Eviction Prevention
Jennifer Hawkins, our president and executive director, in her most recent blog post, outlines seven possible innovations to help reduce evictions. Her post honors the expertise of other organizations in the area, such as the RI Center for Justice and Direct Action for Rights and Equality, noting that we have far more to learn from them on this matter than to offer, but shares some suggestions to consider that might help to move the dialog forward.
The Pandemic and Community Health Work:
The State of the State and Notes from the Neighborhood
Laurie Moïse, director of community health integration, and Yuselly Mendoza, community health worker, have been completely immersed in the work of meeting critical neighborhood needs during the pandemic. Somehow, they also found time and energy to publish two companion pieces about their experience and learning.
Laurie’s piece, called Addressing the Impact of Covid-19 through Community Support, leans into the history of the distrust of medical advice among some communities of color and gives background on racial and economic disparities that have been highlighted by the virus, outlining the value of community health workers like Yuselly to meet area need.
The Community Health Worker Spotlight shared by Yuselly tells about her backstory as the children of Guatemalan immigrants and a native of Olneyville who came to the work unexpectedly and found a calling. Yuselly shares that, to date, with the generous support of the Rhode Island Foundation and United Way of Rhode Island, we have been able to distribute $27,000 in direct cash assistance to highly vulnerable neighbors, roughly 50% of whom are undocumented, to address vital needs exacerbated by the pandemic.
We are delighted to share that the Providence Preservation Society recently announced that the ONE|NB team, led by Rose Fellow Haley Hardwick Witman, with key contributions from Assistant Director of Asset Management Antonio Rodriguez, won the West End Gateway Design Competition for the former Citizens Bank site on the West End with their design, which they dubbed “Canonicus Commons.” The four-person jury highlighted the design’s “sensitive and realistic scheme that imagines transit-oriented development with 3-5 story multi-family dwellings.” You can see more about her winning design in our May 28th newsletter. Way to go, Haley!
Connecting with our Neighbors: EZ Texting and CallFire
We’ve added two new tools to reach our neighbors. A couple of times a week, we send out messages via CallFire and EZ Texting to share resources for food and housing security, Covid-19 screening and support, Census participation, and other key information. All messages go out in Spanish and English. (Thank you, Antonio Rodriguez for being the unofficial voiceover artist of ONE|NB!) We are seeing high participation and lots of sign-ups—with virtually no unsubscribes! We were happy to share these services, which currently reach nearly 800 area residents, with two organizational partners so they could also support our neighbors.
Celebrating Our Neighborhoods: NeighborWorks America Week
To celebrate our relationship with NeighborWorks America, ONE|NB participated in NeighborWorks Week by giving away two $100 baskets of grocery gift cards, restaurant gift cards, and home essentials to two happy winners! NeighborWorks America makes it possible for us to provide housing and other supports to our communities. We celebrated them by sharing some neighborhood love! We asked neighbors around the city to share photos on our Facebook of something they love about their neighborhoods. Our two winners were happy to share about the places they love and even happier to receive their prizes!