ONE|NB’s Central Providence Opportunities HEZ will soon collaborate in distributing $1 million in Central Providence using a process called “participatory budgeting.”

Participatory budgeting is a democratic process in which community members decide how to spend public funds. The $1 million to be distributed through CPO-HEZ is part of a pilot project from the Rhode Island Department of Health. Pawtucket Central Falls HEZ, backed by Local Initiatives Support Corporation, also will aide in the distribution of an another $450,000 through this process.

“Community members will help shape the decision-making process, allocate resources, and build connections with each other. We believe the process of participatory budgeting is equally important as the financial investment. We invite residents of 02908 and 02909 ZIP codes to contact us to learn more about how they can share the issues that impact them and work together to help fund equitable solutions.”

Jennifer Hawkins, Executive Director, ONE Neighborhood Builders

The belief behind participatory budgeting is that residents know best what works and what doesn’t in their own community. It also brings residents into the decision-making process, especially those who have been previously excluded. As part of the process, what residents learn will be shared with the City of Providence and the State in an effort to encourage the use of participatory budgeting when making spending decisions.

RIDOH is providing $450,000 and a private funder is providing an additional $550,000 to be administered by ONE|NB, considered the backbone agency for the project. The funds will be spent in the Central Providence neighborhoods of Elmhurst, Federal Hill, Hartford, Olneyville, Manton, Mount Pleasant, Valley, Silver Lake, and Smith Hill.

It’s not the first time that residents have had a say in how funds are spent in their community. In summer 2021, ONE|NB’s Resident Advisory Council distributed $100,400 to businesses and projects in the community.

Next steps: How participatory budgeting works

  1. A Steering Committee of residents creates the engagement plan and develops a process rulebook.
  2. Through in-person and virtual meetings and tools, residents share and discuss ideas for projects.
  3. Volunteers, known as “Budget Delegates,” develop the ideas into full project proposals.
  4. Residents vote on the proposals that most serve the community’s needs.
  5. Projects with the most votes are implemented.

Want to get involved?

  • Text PBCentralPVD to (401) 291-6788 to get text message updates throughout the entire PB Process.
  • Follow ONE Neighborhood Builders on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for events and updates.
  • Learn more about Participatory Budgeting at
  • Email ONE|NB at with any questions!