ONE Neighborhood Builders Receives $10,000 In Funding from Tufts Health Plan to Expand High Speed Internet Access in Providence

PROVIDENCE, RI – Sept. 4th, 2020 – ONE Neighborhood Builders (ONE|NB) has received $10,000 from Tufts Health Plan to support the creation of a wireless mesh network over the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence.

“The Covid-19 health crisis has brought great suffering to a Providence neighborhood that already suffers from some of the highest poverty in Rhode Island—and average lifespans that are nearly nine years lower than those of other Providence neighborhoods,” said Jennifer Hawkins, executive director of ONE|NB. “What may have been considered a convenience before the pandemic, is now accepted as crucial for learning, working, socializing, and accessing important services. We thank Tufts Health Plan for their leadership on this issue, as their contribution will enable us to continue to our important work to ensure all Rhode Islanders have equal access.”

The pandemic has shuttered libraries, coffee shops, community centers, and other public places that generally offer free Wi-Fi. In response, ONE|NB launched a fundraising campaign to bring free, high-speed Internet to this community. With support from Tufts Health Plan, ONE|NB is one step closer to implementing ONE Neighborhood Connects: Community Wi-Fi, that will reach more than 1,500 households.

“As many Rhode Islanders continue to work from home and students are faced with remote learning environments, having accessible and reliable internet connection is crucial,” said Domenic Delmonico, executive director of Rhode Island Medicaid at Tufts Health Plan. “The COVID-19 crisis has only exacerbated the digital divide and made us aware of the vast inequities that exist in our communities. This collaboration with ONE|NB is just one small way we can offer support to those who need it most.”

About ONE Neighborhood Builders

Founded in 1988, ONE Neighborhood Builders has established itself as a community development leader in Rhode Island. Our mission is to develop affordable housing and engage neighbors across Greater Providence to cultivate safe, healthy, vibrant communities. We achieve our mission through robust housing development, addressing root causes of health disparities, and embracing innovation and building the community development field.

To date, we have developed more than 500 affordable homes, as well as more than 50,000 square feet of commercial and community space. Our current real estate development projects include a Passive-House certified small-home community, a live-work development, and a mixed-use project that will produce 30 new apartments and four Head Start classrooms. We strive to generate the social and economic conditions in central Providence that prolong life expectancy and work to eradicate systemic barriers that lead to health disparities. We lead the Central Providence Health Equity Zone (CP-HEZ), a collaboration of more than 25 community stakeholders who work collectively to identify and eliminate barriers to health. Our work is pursued with an enduring commitment to equity—a core organizational value that drives the selection, advancement, and organization of our projects. The agency proudly maintains a highly diverse staff and board, reflecting the communities we serve and representing a wide constellation of identities, the result of intentional board and staff development and deep institutional dedication.

Visit and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.