A year after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, residents of the island are still struggling with the storm’s impact on their housing, finances, and mental and physical health, a survey by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Washington Post finds. Based on face-to-face interviews, the report, Views and Experiences of Puerto Ricans One Year After Hurricane Maria (37 pages, PDF), found that 83 percent of survey respondents had a home that was destroyed or significantly damaged, lost power for four or more months, had to drink water from a natural source, experienced a job loss, developed a health condition or had an existing one worsen, and/or received mental health services as a result of the storm.
GCRI member Collette, North America’s oldest tour operator, reached its goal of donating one million meals at a recent packaging event during the company’s annual Founder’s Day. The tour operator’s non-profit arm, The Collette Foundation, launched the One Million Meals hunger initiative in 2016 to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary and to honor its core value of giving back.
“There are so many people in need around the globe, and we feel fortunate to be able to make a real impact in their lives, both through our global workforce and our many wonderful partners,” said CEO Dan Sullivan. “Social responsibility has been and always will be a core pillar of our culture at Collette.”
To reach the ambitious goal in support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger, Collette not only mobilized the support of its 600 global employees, but also through a careful selection of partnerships and donations. Partnerships include Rise Against Hunger and Rhode Island-based Edesia. Collette also donated to organizations such as Share our Strength.
Through its RIGHA Foundation Fund, the Rhode Island Foundation recently awarded more than $280,000 in health-related grants to seven local organizations to improve healthcare access and address health issues in the state.
Awardees included Blackstone Valley Community Health Care (BVCHC) to add health coaches to its primary care teams; the City of Central Falls to help develop partnerships between the city’s EMS service and nearby urgent care centers; Clinica Esperanza for chronic disease screening and treatment programs; the Rhode Island Free Clinic to provide expanded behavioral health services; Rhode Island Hospital to expand its Connect for Health program (community resources to address social determinants of health); and The Providence Center to support counseling programs in seven Providence elementary and middle schools.
The RIGHA Foundation Fund was created after Harvard Pilgrim Health Care acquired the former Rhode Island Group Health Association. In 2010, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and the RIGHA Foundation transferred its $1.6 million endowment to the Rhode Island Foundation. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care continues to make annual contributions to the fund, which promotes the development of an effective primary health care system in the state.
RI Foundation President and CEO Neil Steinberg’s ProJo op-ed on the importance of the state taking a steady course for both health care and education
Tufts Health Plan Employees Tackle 35 Projects in 4 States
In honor of the Tufts Health Plan (THP) Foundation’s 10th anniversary in 2018, employees of Tufts Health Plan set an ambitious goal of 10,000 volunteer hours for the year.
After a very successful annual service day, THP is more than halfway to its goal. This year’s record-setting Volunteer Day engaged 773 Tufts Health Plan employees in giving back to communities–in total 2,100 hours through 35 projects in 4 states–all in one day.
Pictured above are employee volunteers cleaning up the playground and outdoor areas at Federal Hill House in Providence; they were getting the grounds ready for summer camp. Other projects included building beds for children; prepping gardens that will supply healthy, local, affordable food; sorting donated food, clothing and toys for families living in poverty; and making paracord survival bracelets for deployed service members.
Fidelity Employees Assist Over 100 Nonprofits on Fidelity Cares Day
1,600 Fidelity employees in New England, joined colleagues around the globe to assist 110 nonprofits for the company’s annual service day. A total of more than 8,000 employees globally provided services that will benefit over 15,000 students and almost 1,000 teachers.
In Rhode Island, Fidelity worked with United Way of Rhode Island to provide financial success fairs at Connecting for Children and Families and Genesis Center, assistance in building an outdoor classroom with DownCity Design, refurbishing a community center with Partnership for Providence Parks, and meal packaging for Project Outreach.
Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced nearly $1.8 million in new community investments that reflect its commitment to make cities and towns great places to grow up and grow old. The new grants will support initiatives at 16 community organizations in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire working to make communities healthier for people of all ages, with a specific interest in engaging older adults. These investments are in addition to nearly $1 million in previously announced work.
The supported grants in systems improvement and best practices reflect a trend of increased regional and local efforts to create age- and dementia-friendly communities. The initiatives promote cross-sector collaboration, expand engagement of older people, advance improvements to support the health and wellbeing of older people, and foster intergenerational connections.
“Each community will follow its own path to becoming age- and dementia-friendly. Support from Tufts Health Plan Foundation helps ensure resources reach under-represented communities at greatest risk for disparities,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation and vice president of corporate citizenship for Tufts Health Plan. “Everyone has a voice; it’s important that we listen.”
The two Rhode Island recipients of grants were:
Local Initiative Support Corporation (Providence, R.I.) The Intergenerational Farmers’ Market Project—to address social isolation for older adults through relationship-building activities that capitalize on the integration of arts, culture and community resources across Rhode Island. Two-year grant for $120,000. (For more information on this innovative program, read the ProJo feature on it!)
Rhode Island Parent Information Network (Cranston, R.I.) Own Your Health: A System to Support Evidence-Based Health Promotion in R.I. for Older People—to improve Rhode Island’s system for providing evidence-based programs for older adults and their caregivers. One-year grant for $63,085.
Family Separation and Immigration Webinar and Resources
Many of you are concerned with the current debate around the federal immigration policy on family separation. Although an executive order has been released to address the components of the policy, there are still reports of separations, lack of clarity about the courts’ response to the EO, and the challenges of reuniting families.
Children, Youth and Family Funders Roundtable is hosting an “Immigration Funder Strategy Discussion” on Friday, July 13 2:30-3:30pm for funders interested in learning more about how your organization can use its expertise to enter the immigration space. The webinar will have ideas for ways to communicate differently with peers and colleagues about the effects of immigration policy, and to better align strategies across issue areas. This strategy discussion will be focused on supporting immigrant children and families!s, and four funders will share their strategies, including how they developed them and how they are linked with other issue areas.
· Denise Dell Isola, Irving Harris Foundation
· Sandra Martinez, The California Wellness Foundation
· Laura Speer, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
· Kavitha Sreeharsha, Emerson Collective
This webinar is part of the Children, Youth & Family Funders Roundtable conversation on the impact of immigration action on children and families. The Roundtable’s immigration work is done in partnership with Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce, and Early Childhood Funders Collaborative to ensure we are exploring our understanding of the cross section of issues faced by immigrant children and families. Register
Our partner in United Philanthropy Forum, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) has released a sign on statement on family separation and immigration enforcement policies, signed by 160 philanthropic organizations. GCIR has also released a document with ideas for philanthropic responses to the family separation crisis.
Our Forum partners, Hispanics in Philanthropy and Associated Grant Makers, have gathered resources for funders who want to learn more and/or get involved.
Dave Biemsderfer, CEO of United Philanthropy Forum, released a blog piece on the family separation policy
United Way of Mass Bay, The Boston Foundation, Jewish Philanthropies and Catholic Charities released a combined joint statement
Philanthropy California released a combined statement from Northern California, Southern California and San Diego Grantmakers
Hispanics In Philanthropy Resources
Hispanics in Philanthropy have launched an Emergency Response Fund, and issued the following statement on ways funders can respond.
5 Ways You Can Stand Up for Immigrant Children & Families TODAY
Ana Marie Argilagos, president and CEO of Hispanics in Philanthropy
It was 136 years ago when the funds to build the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty ran short. New Yorkers took action. They formed fundraising committees and collected donations from people across the city, including a kindergarten class that donated $1.35. Poet Emma Lazarus wrote a sonnet, “The New Colossus,” to help raise money. Her words — “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” — have inspired America’s approach to immigration ever since.
Today, these words etched into the Statue of Liberty are at risk. This month is Immigrant Heritage Month, intended to recognize and celebrate the vast contributions of immigrants in this country which was founded by immigrants. Instead, we are witnessing the worst human rights violations in generations.
Despite President Trump’s executive order ending his administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents, the government will continue to treat all immigrants as criminals and to lock families in cages along the U.S.-Mexico border. Make no mistake: this executive order does not fix the damage inflicted on children or their families. Nor does it prevent future trauma. The Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy is intended to inflict pain, fear, and suffering on children and their parents.
We are better than these xenophobic government policies. We cannot stay silent. We cannot sit by and allow thousands of children and families to suffer traumas that will last a lifetime.
We must remember the lessons learned by our predecessors. We must look back at how Americans mobilized to bring our nation’s beacon of freedom, Lady Liberty, to our shores. Her existence is a constant reminder that we were once a country unified by the immigrant experience. We were and still are proud to be a country of immigrants.
Today, we must once again mobilize to show the world that new immigrants are cared for and welcomed with open arms. You do not have to be wealthy or a government official to take action. Just like the children who donated money to help raise the Statue of Lady Liberty two centuries ago, you too can do your part to ensure we remember our shared values.
HERE ARE A FEW WAYS YOU CAN HELP TODAY:
- Donate to HIP’s fund to support lasting services and support for immigrant families detained at the border.
- Contact your elected officials and hold them accountable. Tell them you expect them to do better, and to do it NOW.
- Contact the U.S. Department of Justice and submit your comments about the damage the current policies are inflicting on children and families.
- Contact the White House to demand they put an end to this cruelty and treat our immigrants humanely and with the dignity they deserve.
- Elevate your voice! HIP along with many other organizations will be gathering this June 30th at Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. to protest this administration’s inhumane policy of ripping children away from their parents at the border. Join us in DC or at an event near you. Find out more at the Families Belong Together website.
Thank you, and may we all remember: We are in this together.
Associated Grant Makers Resources
- Greater Boston Immigrant Defense Fund is building Greater Boston’s capacity to protect and defend immigrant and refugee communities by increasing access to legal representation for individuals facing deportation proceedings and community education and preparedness programming
- Cambridge Legal Defense Fund for Immigrantshas been established to help immigrants in Cambridge, Massachusetts get the legal services they need to stay, legally, in our country.
- The ACLUis litigating this policy in California.
- Al Otro Ladois a binational organization that works to offer legal services to deportees and migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, including deportee parents whose children remain in the U.S.
- American Immigrant Representation Project(AIRP), which works to secure legal representation for immigrants.
- CARA—a consortium of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association—provides legal services at family detention centers.
- CASAin Maryland, D.C., Virginia, and Pennsylvania. They litigate, advocate, and help with representation of minors needing legal services.
- CLINIC’s Defending Vulnerable Populationsproject offers case assistance to hundreds of smaller organizations all over the country that do direct services for migrant families and children.
- The Florence Projectis an Arizona project offering free legal services to men, women, and unaccompanied children in immigration custody.
- Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborativehas a guide to organizations throughout Texas that provide direct legal services to separated children. Also listed within the guide are resources for local advocates, lawyers, and volunteers.
- Human Rights Firstis a national organization with roots in Houston that needs help from lawyers too.
- Kids in Need of Defenseworks to ensure that kids do not appear in immigration court without representation, and to lobby for policies that advocate for children’s legal interests.
- The Kino Border Initiativeprovides humanitarian aid to refugees and migrants on both sides of the border. They have a wish-list of supplies they can use to help migrants and families staying in the communities they serve.
- The Legal Aid Justice Centeris a Virginia-based center providing unaccompanied minors legal services and representation.
- The National Immigrant Justice Centerrepresents and advocates for detained adults and children facing removal, supports efforts at the border, and represents parents in the interior who have been separated from their families as a result of aggressive enforcement.
- The Northwest Immigrant Rights Projectis doing work defending and advancing the rights of immigrants through direct legal services, systemic advocacy, and community education.
- Pueblo Sin Fronterasis an organization that provides humanitarian aid and shelter to migrants on their way to the U.S.
- RAICESis the largest immigration nonprofit in Texas offering free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children and families.
- Together Risingis another Virginia-based organization that’s helping provide legal assistance for 60 migrant children who were separated from their parents and are currently detained in Arizona.
- The Urban Justice Center’s Asylum Seeker Advocacy Projectis working to keep families together.
- Women’s Refugee Commissionadvocates for the rights and protection of women, children, and youth fleeing violence and persecution.
- Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rightsworks for the rights of children in immigration proceedings.
United Way Awarded $100,000 to five community organizations from the Housing for All Fund, established at United Way’s 2016 Housing for All Summit in 2016
The funded programs, by Foster Forward, Housing Network of Rhode Island, Rhode Island Center for Justice and West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation, focus on education, financial literacy, workforce and economic development and collaboration.
“We know that too many working families are housing cost-burdened, spending more than one-third of their income to keep a roof over their heads and face difficult choices among the basic needs they can afford,” said Anthony Maione, President and CEO, United Way of Rhode Island. “We also know there’s a lot of good work happening in our state to tackle this issue, which was evident in the proposals we received, and we are excited to see the progress of the programs we’re investing in.”
2-1-1 Data Report Released
United Way also released its annual 2-1-1 data report, with analysis of the almost 200,000 calls for assistance 2-1-1 received in 2017. The most common requests include financial assistance (rent, utilities, etc.), health information, food and housing.
UWRI Awards Olneyville Grants to 9 Local Organizations
Nine local organizations were the recipients of a shared total of $90,000 in grants from the United Way of Rhode Island’s Olneyville Community Fund in late June.
The 10-year-old fund, which was created when UWRI moved its headquarters to the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence in 2008, aims to support community-based organizations that benefit local residents and businesses.
Recipients include The Manton Avenue Project, Providence Housing Authority, Meeting Street ONE Neighborhood Builders, the Center for Resilience, Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic, Providence Community Library and Sojourner House.
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island has released it 2017 Community Report, focused on its wide range of involvement in child health and wellbeing, healthcare access and equity, the opioid crisis, and volunteerism and philanthropy.
LISC RI, a GCRI member, is part of national LISC, which invested $1.2 billion nationwide in 2017, including $27 million in Rhode Island. One of the featured stories in the report is the work of the Health Empowerment Zone in Pawtucket/Central Falls, which is adminstered by LISC RI.
The Rhode Island Foundation’s annual report details information on the $43 million in grants to more than 1,700 the Foundation awarded in 2017, including grants in strategic areas such as economic security, educational success, and healthy lives.
United Way, CVS Foundation Launch 2-1-1 Partnership to Address Opioid Addiction
As Rhode Island struggles with the highest rate of substance abuse-related deaths in New England, those caught in the cycle of addiction, as well as their family and friends, have a new resource to access the help they need.
United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI) and the CVS Health Foundation have announced a new partnership through 2-1-1 focused on addressing the opioid use epidemic that has become a public health crisis in the Ocean State. Through the free and confidential 2-1-1 help line that’s available 24/7, 365 days a year, the effort aims to raise awareness and bring greater accessibility to treatment resources to Rhode Islanders.
Utilizing a multi-pronged approach, the partnership incorporates Anchor Recovery, a comprehensive substance abuse treatment organization. With Anchor, 2-1-1 will have access to a dedicated phone line so that 2-1-1 call specialists may provide a warm transfer directly to a peer counselor, who can provide immediate assistance. The partnership also integrates the availability of an addiction and substance use subject matter expert, and specialized training for 2-1-1 staff on addiction issues and available services.
UWRI and the CVS Health Foundation have added a list of addiction resources to the 2-1-1 website (www.211ri.org), where individuals who may be apprehensive to call 2-1-1 by phone can review the resources or chat online with trained specialists.
Additionally, the partnership will provide direct outreach to communities in the state most affected by substance abuse using the 2-1-1 Outreach RV. Through confidential screenings aboard the 38-foot Outreach RV, 2-1-1 will provide direct referrals to local substance abuse agencies, as well as immediate drug and alcohol counseling available from on-site partners, and HIV rapid testing.
To help raise awareness of the partnership and the role of 2-1-1 in combating addiction issues, UWRI and CVS Health will employ a marketing campaign, including digital, radio and transit advertisements.
CVS Health is committed to addressing and preventing the nation’s opioid epidemic. In March, the company announced it is adding 14 medication disposal units inside CVS Pharmacy locations across the state to make it easier to dispose of unused medications. This work builds on ongoing company initiatives, including the Pharmacists Teach program, which brings CVS Pharmacists to local schools to talk to teens and parents about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs. More than 300,000 teens nationally including more than 3,600 in Rhode Island have already participated in the program. CVS Health has also worked to expand access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone in 46 states, including Rhode Island.
Genesis Center Pharmacy Tech Program Receives Support from CVS Health and United Way of Rhode Island
The Genesis Center Pharmacy Technician program, which was born out of a partnership between Genesis Center, Building Futures, CVS Heath and United Way of Rhode Island, gives students an opportunity to train for a career that’s on track to add 47,600 new jobs by 2026.
Tyla Pimentel, Genesis Center’s Adult Services Director, explains, “It became increasingly difficult to earn a living-wage working in low-skilled jobs, so we adapted to the community’s changing needs” with this popular new program. In addition to the faster than average job growth, the median income for those entering the pharmacy tech field is $15.26 an hour.
The program, now in its second cohort, has started receiving more interest from the community. “Many times, people come in for another class but end up interested in the pharmacy tech program,” says Liz Hanke, Genesis Center’s Workforce Coordinator. Part of this new program’s appeal is that graduates do their internships with CVS Health — which often leads to job offers.
Internships are far from the end of their collaboration; CVS Health’s in-house training modules are foundational to the program’s curriculum. “Our students start their careers at an advantage,” explains Tyla. “They complete most of CVS’s training program before they even graduate.”Internships are far from the end of their collaboration; CVS Health’s in-house training modules are foundational to the program’s curriculum. “Our students start their careers at an advantage,” explains Tyla. “They complete most of CVS’s training program before they even graduate.”
In addition, Genesis helps students develop soft skills, such as writing resumes and interviewing, while also preparing them for the reality of entering the workforce. “It’s important we help manage their expectations,” says Liz. “We explain to them that no one starts at the top, but if they put in the time, work hard, and are dependable they can achieve success — but that it’s ultimately up to them.”
Like Genesis Center, United Way of Rhode Island understands helping others often relies on an agency’s willingness to adapt. This willingness is what helps nonprofits meet the changing needs of a community — like the need for quality adult education.
United Way invests in adult education by supporting effective programs like Genesis Center’s Pharmacy Technician Program. “United Way allows us to help more people benefit from this program,” Tyla explains. “Community members who would otherwise never have an opportunity like this.”
United Way’s continued investment in adult education is important to our goal of changing the lives of 250,000 Rhode Islanders by the year 2020. Working closely with partners, such as Genesis Center, we will not only reach this goal but surpass it — helping many more Rhode Islanders in the process.
LISC Grants, Initiatives and People Recognized
LISC Rhode Island awarded Amos House $476,000 to implement its Bridges to Career Opportunities (BCO) model, a comprehensive education and support program designed to provide tailored services to move people into employment. The new grant is part of $72 million in funding awarded to 32 organizations through the U.S. Labor Department’s Reentry Project, which is focused on evidence-based opportunities to reduce recidivism.
With this funding, Amos House will be able to expand its job training and education programs and integrate them with the Financial Opportunity Center offerings, a highly successful program developed by LISC that helps participants with job placement, financial coaching, and access to public benefits. Amos House will adapt the BCO model to address the specific needs and services necessary for individuals recently released from prison.
“As a result of this funding, Amos House will provide intensive wraparound supports related to barriers specific to the re-entry population,” said Jeanne Cola, Executive Director of LISC Rhode Island. “Participants will be able to complete the education and skills training components of the Bridges to Career Opportunities program and transition to employment.”
With a grant from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), LISC launched its Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) model nationally in 2010 and featured several sites in Rhode Island, including Amos House. FOCs provide clients with three integrated services: employment coaching, financial education and coaching, and assistance accessing income supports. This bundling of services helps clients make important behavioral changes about money and improve their financial outlook, while preparing them to succeed in the workplace. The model has been successful in helping clients see real improvements in net income, net worth, and credit scores. Additional SIF funding allowed LISC to then introduce the Bridges to Career Opportunities model, which incorporated contextualized educational services along with career training programs and provided opportunities for those FOC clients who needed to build additional foundational skills to successfully complete higher-level skills training and be more competitive in the job market.
“In addition to job training and education, providing services to help participants navigate legal and technical matters related to child support, fines, court, parole/probation, as well as help with transportation, housing barriers, and substance abuse, will translate into meaningful change for this vulnerable population,” said Cola.
Approximately 2.3% of adults in Rhode Island are on probation or parole, which as of 6/30/17 was 23,081 adults in the state, and there were 2,797 individuals released in 2017 . Of this number, about 5% of sentenced releases self-reported that they were homeless or had no permanent address. The Department of Corrections also reports that of the total prison population, 52% of men and 61% of women were unemployed at the time they were incarcerated. Additionally, of this 2017 population, 35% of incarcerated men and 25% of incarcerated women had less than a high school education, and 51% of men and 38% of women were re-sentenced within 36 months of release .
“We are very grateful to LISC,” said Eileen Hayes, President and CEO of Amos House. “This was a very competitive process and the funding will allow us to focus much more intensively on people entering our training programs and accessing FOC services within 6 months of being released from incarceration.”
Nationwide, there are more than 2.3 million people in prisons, jails and other detention facilities, with 650,000 released each year from prisons alone. Studies on recidivism done by the National Institute of Justice based in Washington D.C. indicate that nearly 77 percent are arrested again within five years.
The award is part of a larger grant from the U.S. Department of Labor which awarded $4.5 million in new funding for LISC Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) nationwide. The grant will extend the reach of LISC FOCs in Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Minneapolis and Providence that operate in communities with high rates of poverty, crime and reentry. Amos House is one of only seven organizations across the LISC footprint to receive these funds.
The FOCs are part of a broader LISC effort to expand economic opportunity for low income people. It dovetails with LISC’s community safety work that builds police community partnerships, supports data-driven strategies to take on crime hotspots, and integrates safety into broader programs on economic development, housing and jobs.
People in the News
Deputy Director Cindy Larson received the 2017 Sue Connor Special Friend of Rhode Island’s Children Award from the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children (RIAEYC) during the organization’s 51st opening banquet of their Annual Rhode Island Early Childhood Conference. Larson received the award for her lifetime of work as an early childhood advocate.
In presenting the award, Lisa Hildebrand, Executive Director of the RIAEYC, acknowledged Larson’s advocacy and leadership in early learning and child care in Rhode Island, her role as the founding director of LISC’s Rhode Island Child Care & Early Learning Facilities Fund (RICCELFF), and her long history of work in education.
“We are presenting this award in recognition of her leadership, commitment, and truly tireless efforts working on behalf of the early child care and education community, as well as the children and families of Rhode Island,” said Hildebrand.
“Cindy led the team that conducted a comprehensive study of child care and early learning facility infrastructure in Rhode Island. She was instrumental in receiving special permission to use Race to The Top dollars toward facility improvement and making funding available to help address critical health and safety issues across Rhode Island’s early childhood centers,” said Hildebrand.
In accepting the award, Larson noted that there is still work to be done despite broad acceptance on the critical importance of the issues around early childhood.
“Thank you all so much, this honor means a great deal to me,” said Larson. “It should be really easy to be an early childhood advocate – all the research suggests that the early years of life are the most critical; we have widespread agreement with the importance of early education; we know that quality child care is essential to building a workforce and having a strong economy.
“Everybody agrees on all these things, and yet every single day we have programs that are struggling just to make ends meet. So the money is not connecting to what we know, despite our best efforts. We welcome all the new champions and I hope your voices will be loud and strong. We will continue to advocate strongly with you for the resources that you need to make a difference in the lives of children.”