Providence Rhode Island Catholic Charities assistance programs.

Catholic Charities is one of the main social service agencies in Providence Rhode Island. While the demand for their resources is very high, the agency will do what they can to meet basic needs of the unemployed, low income and working poor. Mostly due to the weak economy, many people from the community have turned to their local church in search of emergency and financial assistance to obtain life’s most basic needs. Some examples of the resources available in Providence are below.

Heating bill assistance is offered as part of Keep the Heat On. The Catholic Charity Archdiocese of Providence Rhode Island sponsors this program in partnership with other charities and non-profit organizations. Financial aid is offered in an effort to help people heat their homes during the cold winter months. It is also a program of last resort and will only help those families in the community who have exhausted all other government and private resources. Applicants need to have no other place left to turn for assistance with their heating bills before they contact Catholic Charities. Many churches, individuals, and people from the community contribute to the Keep the Heat On program. Call 401/421-7833 for information and applications.

Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army also run the Good Neighbor Energy Fund in Providence County. This heating bill assistance program is a statewide cooperative effort between electric and natural gas companies and other non-profits. This resource is made available to any lower income qualified Rhode Islander who, because of a crisis such as a temporary financial difficulty, cannot pay a month's energy expense. It will only help those who are not qualified for or received other non-profit or government energy assistance funds. Dial 401-831-1119.

A number of social services are offered for the most vulnerable, including seniors and children from low income families. The Providence Diocesan Social Ministry Office can be reached at 401-421-7833, and case managers will do what they can to direct people to assistance programs. Resources are offered for the unemployed and others that are struggling. Free Bus Tickets as well as an overflow shelter for homeless Providence Rhode Islanders are just a couple options.




In a crisis, look into the RISEO Emergency Fuel Program. Catholic Charities can help people sign up for this. It can pay out emergency financial assistance and grants to qualified households that are experiencing an energy-related crisis during the winter or some other time of the year. An application may need to be submitted if a household has not help and if their fuel tank is empty or near empty. Ask your local Catholic Charity center in Providence about it or dial 401-574-9003.

Food pantries from local churches and Catholic Charities are located across Providence County Rhode Island. Some of the parishes that people can turn to are listed below.

West Warwick Satellite (OCS), West Warwick
Providence In Town Churches, Providence, (401) 454-7422
Wakefield Satellite (OCS), Wakefield
St. Edward/ St. Anthony Food Locker, Providence
St. Teresa, Providence
Saint Charles Food Locker in Woonsocket Rhode Island
BV Emergency Food Center, Central Falls
St. Elizabeth, Bristol, RI, (501) 253-8366
Immaculate Conception, Westerly
St. Patrick, Harrisville
St. Paul, Foster, (401) 647-3664
Our Lady of Good Help, Burrillville
St. Rita, Warwick
St. Joseph, Newport
TAP IN, Barrington
Limerock Baptist, Lincoln
St. Robert Bellarmine, Johnston, (401) 232-5600

Soup kitchens and so called meal sites are disbursed in the region as well.

St. Patrick’s (Mary’s House), Providence, Rhode Island
Cathedral of St. John’s (Episcopal), Providence
Hospitality House Soup Kitchen, Pawtucket, RI
Pawtucket Soup Kitchen, Pawtucket, 401-256-3446




By Jon McNamara

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