Almost $7 million in federal government stimulus funds will be used to prevent homelessness in the state. In addition, money will be available to assist those who are now in emergency shelters. The program will help them find stable housing. The money will be distributed by the state, the City of Providence, charities, and social service agencies across Rhode Island.
Officials from Providence, Woonsocket, Pawtucket, and state government officials announced the effort and the fact the state is being sent stimulus funds, which will go to help Rhode Islanders who have been hit hard by foreclosures, job losses and housing woes.
The primary goal is to help people before they become homeless and get those who are homeless back on their feet. The best way to solving the homeless problem is to prevent people from being evicted or losing their home to a foreclosure.
There are many agencies, charities, and organizations that will participate in the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program, and they include Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center (401) 461-5920), Blackstone Valley Community Action, Comprehensive Community Action (401) 943-1981), Community Mediation Center of Rhode Island, Crossroads Rhode Island, East Bay Community Action, Family Service of Rhode Island ((401) 331-1350), the House of Hope CDC, Lucy’s Hearth, McAuley House, Mental Health Association of Rhode Island, New Hope for Families, Operation Stand Down, Project Hope, Rhode Island Legal Services, Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, South County Community Action, Tri-Town Community Action and West Bay Community Action.
The groups and agencies will offer financial assistance, cash grants that can be used to pay for rent or eviction prevention services, case management and free legal services. Contact these groups to learn more or apply for assistance.
Providence Rhode Island has put into place a program that requires banks and lenders to enter into a mediation process with a homeowner before they can foreclosure. Read more on the Providence Foreclosure Mediation Ordinance, and how this option may be able to help you save your home.
Interfaith Community Dire Emergency Fund provides low income and other qualified individuals and families with emergency fuel, in particular heating and energy bill assistance during the cold winter months of November to April. In addition, rental and prescription medication funds and other forms of financial assistance can also be granted when funds are available. The fund also can help with security deposits and basic needs for employment costs. Call (401) 421-7833, or find help from Interfaith Community Dire Emergency Fund.
McAuley House, which is located in Providence Rhode Island and can be reached at (401) 941-9013, assists with rental and prescription medication vouchers; assists with emergency needs such as evictions and utility disconnections; and it also offers social services and free food and meals.
South Providence Neighborhood Ministries (Dial (401) 461-7509) is involved in the distribution of food, groceries, bread and fresh produce, provides Thanksgiving baskets; financial aid including rental assistance, utility assistance; heating bill gas and electric information/referral, Santa's Workshop, SERVE, layettes, household and personal hygiene items.
New Covenant Worship Center offers resources and services including meals, food, groceries, Prescription Expense Assistance, Clothing, Soup Kitchens, and Rent Payment Assistance, and Utility Bill Payment Assistance. Phone (401) 276-0220.
Tri Town Community Action Agency, which is based in Johnston Rhode Island, runs programs including the federal government funded weatherization assistance program, help for paying your mortgage and foreclosure prevention, provides grants for utility bills from the low-income fuel assistance program (LIHEAP), emergency food assistance, emergency housing assistance, employment and training program, and commodities distribution. (401) 351-2750
The non-profit Blackstone Valley Community Action assists thousands of families every year. They offer several self-sufficiency and education type programs. While more limited, some emergency financial aid may be provided as well.
Providence Community Action Program (PROCAP) is the local non-profit community action agency that provides home energy bill assistance (assists individuals with paying their home heating and utility bills), energy conservation and home weatherization, emergency shelter, mortgage assistance, offers employment training programs, emergency food, food pantry, emergency rental and utility assistance, credit card help, elderly and handicapped transportation, distributes food, groceries, and federal surplus commodities, and provides information and referral assistance. Phone (401) 273-2000.
Project Outreach at The Open Table of Christ Methodist Church provides assistance to Washington Park / Edgewood residents only. Get all forms of financial assistance, including funds for utility bills, prescription medications, rent help, free food, Christmas and Thanksgiving baskets, clothing, and much more. (401) 884-9126
Jewish Family Service of Rhode Island - Operating across Providence County and the state, the agency may have funds to pay for basic needs, such as rent, medications, food, or heating bills. In some cases, no interest rate loans are issued for paying bills to income qualified families. Other programs include help for seniors, home care for the disabled, and counseling services. There are also In-Home Care solutions for the homebound in the county. More Providence Jewish Family Services.
Catholic Charities and Council of Churches - These organizations have partnered with other charities across Providence Rhode Island. Together they have created several assistance programs, including an emergency fund, that low income, struggling, and unemployed families can call upon for help. Services offered range from heating bill assistance, credit counseling, rental help, debt reduction, and more. Work with a case manager to apply for financial assistance and other social services. Click here.
Rehousing and eviction prevention is available. The goal is to help prevent homelessness, and anyone (from single mothers to families living in poverty) may apply for help.
River of Life Ministries offers Utility Assistance, runs a Food Pantry, provides meals, and much more.
Crossroads participates in a number of housing programs in Providence and the state. They run shelters, can assist with transitional housing, and support the currently homeless. Case mangers can direct qualified residents to programs such as Homeless Family Services or low income apartments such as Kingstown Crossings. Staff also help clients find jobs, create resumes, and offer other help. Learn more.
Salvation Army, The - Providence Corps, which can be reached at (401) 831-1119, is responsible for a variety of social service and assistance programs. Some of the services they provide include heating and utility bill assistance, Basic needs, Thanksgiving, Child care expenses, Christian ministry, Church, Christmas meals and gifts, and more. Salvation Army services are focused on low income Providence families faced with an unexpected emergency, with priority for seniors, children, and the unemployed. More information.
If you need help with rent expenses, or low income housing, then a number of programs, charities, and organizations may be able to help. Read more on Providence rental assistance.
Churches in Providence can also help the low income and poor. Many partner with organizations such as Catholic Charities, St. Vincent and/or the Salvation Army. They help by providing food, emergency energy bill assistance, shelter, and other support to the needy. Read more.
Programs and agencies provide holiday assistance. There can be a meal at Thanksgiving or Christmas, or children can get a free toy, present or small dollar gift card. Several towns in the county also run these services, and not only may a charity help during Christmas, but many also offer referrals. Find holiday help in Providence County.
Clothing Collaborative provides people looking for a job with clothing and professional attire. Dial (401) 351-7293.
Rhode Island Bar Association - Volunteer Lawyer Program is an organization of over 1000 attorneys across Rhode Island. They provide no fee, or free, legal services. Do note that the client may be required to pay court fees or other litigation costs. The lawyers provide free legal assistance to low income clients who cannot obtain legal representation or consultations on their own or through other existing agencies. Over 1000 private attorneys located throughout the state volunteer for this program. Priorities include housing, foreclosure counseling, bankruptcy, consumer, unemployment, education and family law legal cases. Phone (401) 421-7758.
Many providence Rhode Island homeowners hold mortgages from Bank of America. Now they have additional ways to get help. BOA has opened a mortgage help center that serves Warwick, Providence, and families across the state. Find more on the Rhode Island Bank of America mortgage center.
The Urban League of Rhode Island offers counseling and a wide variety of other programs. They offer Credit Counseling, Debt Management, Foreclosure Prevention and Mortgage Advice, Holiday Programs, Food, and several other services. You can learn more on various debt management plans and payday loan consolidation, or call the Providence based Urban League at (401) 351-5000.
Many people, regardless of income and background, turn to food banks and pantries for some short term help or for assistance during an emergency. The centers will help almost anyone who needs it, and rarely turn anyone away. Better yet is that most of the Providence food banks offer other support as well, such as groceries, meals, clothing, Christmas and Thanksgiving meals, and much more. Some of the leading places to call are listed below.
If you need additional options and centers to call, there are a few dozen more churches and free food banks in the county. They all try to prevent hunger in the community. Find more food banks in Providence.
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