News

Now Recruiting! Free Virtual Training!

Published 12/03/2020

The Education and Job Development team is recruiting for a new Customer Service course beginning in January!

There is no cost to participate and those who complete the course will receive a certification.

Click here to register --> https://bit.ly/37kS8C2

Employee Appreciation During COVID-19

Published 12/14/2020

Ordinarily one Friday every July, the Community Action Partnership of Providence closes for the day and staff gathers at a state park in a gazebo. There’s a potluck lunch and drink provided by both the agency and employees. Staffs family is invited to attend.  There’s music and laughter and a general mood of celebrating each other’s successes. It’s an All-Staff meeting, work is discussed; ideas and plans for the future are presented but it’s a much more casual and warm atmosphere than a regular staff meeting that includes volleyball and typically ends in a water balloon fight.

But nothing about 2020 has been ordinary. 

Instead of a summer day in the park, staff members met up in September on the large wide open grounds of our Broad Street location. There are too many employees to meet indoors all at once, so everyone was instructed to wear masks, maintain a six-foot distance from each other and stand outside. Social distancing has become standard procedure but it was still difficult for co-workers to socialize while the sound of their voices was muffled by masks and soaked up by the autumn sky.

And then came the drizzle. A mist that was just annoying enough to fog up everyone’s glasses but not enough to need to adjourn the meeting for a sunnier day.

Executive Director Rilwan Feyisitan, Jr. is not a man who needs a megaphone. His voice carried to all 50 staff members as he gave praise to everyone for the way they came together to ensure the CAPP’s mission of supporting 33,000 Providence residents living at or below the poverty line continued in the face of the global COVID-19 health crisis.

“We serve residents in need, people in crisis and (COVID-19) has put extra pressure and stress on everyone. But, I’m proud of how our staff has come through and come together to support our Providence residents and families in need,” he said.

Proceeding to praise the agency’s hard-working staff in how they adjusted to the “new normal” operations and procedures, Feyisitan presented several members of staff with special commendations for going above and beyond.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Supervisor Eskalina, who started with CAPP as a volunteer and has steadily climbed the ladder, was praised for always maintaining a positive attitude and serving the LIHEAP department with distinction.

Receptionists, Grisell (Gini) and Virginia were celebrated for being the first point of contact for every individual who enter the building. On top of her regular duties, Gini (one of CAPP’s longest-serving employees) has been helping to deliver meals to members of CAPP’s senior program who are no longer able to gather for communal meals at 807 Broad Street. Virginia is known for being a perpetually helpful and cheery presence behind the reception desk and has always been willing to take on new tasks and responsibilities in her job and excels at every turn.

   

To say that the coronavirus outbreak has CAPP’s one-man maintenance staff busier than ever before would be a massive understatement. Yet, Jose rises to the occasion, keeping the main building’s doorknobs, railings and high-touch surfaces are sanitized, ensuring the dispensers of hand soap and sanitizer are full in addition to his regular duties. Jose has also been helping to deliver meals and supplemental food pantry items to isolated seniors and disabled or immunocompromised residents.

No agency program can run seamlessly without a support staff who is capable of thinking quickly and being adaptable. CAPP’s Weatherization and AMP program is no exception. State-issued guidelines and mandates have affected most programs but perhaps none as much as Weatherization. Auditors for a time were unable to enter residents’ homes to perform their work. However, virtual audits and  boiler replacements continued in emergency situations only as COVID spread. Any time a roadblock or unexpected complication has arisen, Weatherization Clerk Joy-L has come up with options and presented solutions making her an invaluable member of the CAPP team.

Congratulations Eskalina, Gini, Virginia, Jose and Joy-L!

As a way of trying to keep gatherings small, the meeting was held in two sections, the main staffers partook in the early session. They were treated to food cooked on the grill for them by CAPPs Executive Director. An Ice-cream truck was rented for them and then they were allowed to have the rest of the day off. The Management Team stayed for the latter half of the meeting. They received a highly informative briefing on the recent changes to COVID-19 era guidelines and mandates from the HR department and were able to ask questions about virus symptoms, knowing when to call out of work if they or someone at home was sick and other protection measures.

In a fleeting moment of normality, the management team was later able to engage in some socially-distanced games and pizza after the awards were presented. Intentional or not, the metaphoric symbolism of antipoverty employees playing giant Jenga during a pandemic wasn’t lost on anyone.

    

Free Masks on Hartford Avenue!

Published 09/29/2020

Thanks to our ongoing partnership with ONE Neighborhood Builders, CAPP is happy to announce that we are now a FREE MASK site to ensure our residents have access to necessary PPE during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These cloth masks are individually pre-wrapped.

The mailbox is located outside our main office on the corner of Hartford Ave and Petteys Ave and will be replenished daily while supplies last. Residents are welcome to take what they need but we do ask that they leave some masks for others.

 

Friends Helping Friends!

Published 09/25/2020

CAPP is excited to participate in a fundraiser through Boscov's department store!

Shop in-store or online on October 14th & 15th and mention the CAPP is your charity of choice! 

You save 10-20% on your purchases, CAPP receives 5% of your total purchase price!

Visit www.boscovs.com/friendshelping friends for more information!

RI Community Food Bank Virtual Town Hall

Published 05/22/2020

Watch a Food Bank Update with CEO Andrew Schiff& CAPP Executive Director Rilwan Feyisitan


View the video below for an update on our response to the increased demand for food as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. CEO Andrew Schiff is joined by Rilwan Feyisitan, Executive Director of the Community Action Partnership of Providence, a member agency of the Food Bank, to discuss the challenges both organizations face as we ensure no one in Rhode Island goes hungry. 

An Unprecedented Time at CAPP


"We are literally all hands on deck.” 
- Rilwan Feyisitan, Executive Director
Community Action Partnership of Providence (CAPP)

CAPP's food pantry was only open in their new location one month before COVID-19 hit Rhode Island. The agency provides a wide range of social services and resources to neighbors on the south side of the city, an area hard hit by the pandemic. 

“The need has been phenomenal," says Rilwan, shown here preparing food for distribution. "It’s been an unprecedented time. Half of our normal staff are not working during this time. We are actually standing up and manning our pantry with senior staff and a handful of volunteers. We are literally all hands on deck making sure we are taking care of the thousand plus people who are coming through our doors.”

Adapting During the Crisis
CAPP only recently moved to a new location, a larger building and former community center with a huge kitchen and storage area, and space for community meals. With only a few weeks of operation under their belt, they radically shifted their procedures to allow for social distancing and safe food pickup. These measures have paid off, and they are able to serve more guests than ever before, safely.

Again, Rilwan shares, “It’s an interesting time. I have a public health background and spent many years looking at social determinants of health, looking at food insecurity and looking at the many other issues that affect our communities.”

Rilwan reported that many of the guests coming to his agency are new, often seeking food assistance for the first time. 

“What has been really eye opening is that from April 3 to May 20, we had 1,033 pantry recipients coming through our doors. Of those, 601 were new to our pantry. We are really happy that we can say we’ve not had to turn anyone away; everyone is getting those basic needs met.” 

Click below to watch the pre-recorded town hall:

RI Community Food Bank Town Hall 5/29/2020

Thank you to the Mr. Schiff and the Food Bank for highlighting CAPP and the ways we are continuing to serve Providence residents in need!

Above text reposted from a communication directly from the RICFB