-Master’s in Public Administration—Northeastern University;
-Master’s in Art in Mental Health Counseling in Behavioral Medicine - Boston University;
-18 years in human services, addressing addiction, psychiatric issues & homelessness;
-Works as Mental Health Discharge Planner in an Adult Correctional Facility, ensuring inmates’ psychiatric needs are met post release.
1. What is your role with CAPP?
I’ve been involved with the CAPP Board of Directors for two years, most recently serving as the board’s Secretary.
2. What makes you unique?
I am also an artist and use my artistic platform as a social justice vehicle to create dialogue. I examine racism, injustices of the criminal justice system and issues that homeless people face on a daily basis, like the lack of health insurance, food and descent, affordable homes.
3. Why did you choose CAPP?
The reason why I joined CAPP’s board of directors is because over the years, CAPP has shown that they care about the people in Providence. CAPP’s values also align with mine as a human service professional, which is “to reduce poverty, revitalize low-income communities, and empower low-income individuals.
4. What motivated you to pursue the Little Free Library at CAPP?
I started the Little Library initiative at CAPP because I saw that there was a need to create an avenue where people could have access to books. This initiative would make books available to budding readers and give neighbors who don’t know one another a reason to connect, particularly in a rural setting or an urban location where there just isn’t the quantity or variety of books needed. This initiative is about sharing books, bringing people together and creating a community of readers.
5.What impact do you expect the Library to have and on whom?
I hope that this initiative will ensure access to books at any time of the day, increase literacy rates for the youth and enhance community engagement. I hope that that over time, the community will engage by donating and exchanging books. In an era of e-books and other digital entertainment, the Little Free Library movement, a community exchange program involving traditional books, is important because books invite a physical person-to-object relation, lending more “realness” to the characters and stories. Books enable emotional connectivity, where eBooks do not. It’s about connections!
6. What have you learned through your involvement with the agency?
I’ve learned that people don’t necessarily want handouts, but want services and programs that will allow self-determination to increase confidence in their ability to have resources, value and a voice in the communities that they live in.
Michael, a dedicated family man, came to CAPP in April of 2018 looking for help re-entering the job market after an 18 year gap in employment.
Despite possessing a Master’s in Economics and an MBA in Finance, the 18 year hiatus from work to care for his loved ones created a major roadblock to employment. Michael wanted to reignite his passion for finance and had been actively searching for work since the fall of 2016.
After completing several job readiness programs and unsuccessfully searching for employment, Michael was advised to secure volunteer opportunities. His determination led him to CAPP.
“I tried to volunteer at a couple of other organizations, but they rejected me too. You can imagine how that felt. I chose CAPP simply because Jennil (Volunteer Program Coordinator) was kind enough to listen to me and give me a chance.”
-Donated 207.5 hours to CAPP;
-Improved data entry and file management skills;
-Became proficient in modern office equipment operation, software applications, and departmental policies & procedures;
-Updated resume to reflect new, transferable skills and filled employment gap;
-Acquired a full-time job in his dream field of finance.
Michael is enjoying his job and says there is never a dull moment because there is so much to learn. He continues to receive inquiries from recruiters and expresses gratitude for the opportunity that CAPP gave him to show that he could be productive, opening a lot of doors for him.
“I’ll just keep my eyes open and be prepared to jump on whatever opportunity comes along.”
Building beds to combat poverty and sleep deprivation for children!
Danyelle H., a 27 year old mother of two, came to CAPP in November of 2017 looking for direction in financial planning for future homeownership.
“My credit score was being affected by student loans that I had put on the back burner. I was on an income based repayment plan that I couldn’t afford anymore. I didn’t realize that the interest builds up. I didn’t understand why the payments weren’t coming down. I had the mindset that, if I left it alone it would just go away.” Danyelle H.
Although Danyelle held a retail manager’s position at popular clothing store, she enrolled in CAPP’s IDA Prep services to better understand and improve her low credit score. The services allowed her to learn financial management skills. Rose, the IDA specialist, reviewed the Your Money, Your Goals financial empowerment toolkit on debt and bills and Danyelle was faithful in following the action plan.
Rose referred Danyelle to Capital Good Fund’s Credit Builder program. They assisted her in consolidating her student loans and brought her monthly payments down to $66.
Capital Good Fund also helped her open up a secured credit card and develop spending habits to improve her score. To support her saving efforts, Rose referred her to SaverLife, where she earned a $10 reward for every $20 she saved monthly for up to 6 months.
Danyelle continues to work with Rose on her journey towards economic self-sufficiency and is looking forward to her next step…attending a First Time Homebuyer Education class.
“I plan to buy my first house within the next three years.” Danyelle, H.