July 19, 2019
Re: Thank You For Your Feedback About CAPP and the Elmwood Community Center
Dear community members:
Thank you to everyone who took the time last night to participate in our Community Action Partnership of Providence (CAPP) forum to discuss the reasons we have been forced to end programming at the city-owned Elmwood Community Center (ECC), and our plans to relocate these programs as soon as possible.
Your voice, your concerns, and your passion for the ECC were all heard loud and clear. At CAPP, we agree that the ECC has been an incredible resource for the resident of the South Side and Elmwood. That is why our decision to move programing out of the building has been so difficult, but sadly necessary.
As I described, the physical condition of the ECC is in a state of unacceptable disrepair. The presence of asbestos, possible soil contamination, chronic leaks, and electrical issues have created a situation that is unsafe for the residents that we serve and our employees.
We have been struggling with these conditions for years, and while we appreciate that our elected leaders have worked to identify funds for emergency repairs, they are simply not enough to bring the building up to the standard that you and our employees deserve. That is why we stand by our difficult decision to end programming at the ECC on July 31st.
CAPP understands how critical the programs and services we provide are to the residents of the South Side and Providence. That is why for the past two weeks we’ve been visiting locations across the city with property owners and real estate brokers. I am hopeful that in the coming days we will have exciting news to share about a new location, on the South Side, where we will be able to resume most of the programs impacted by our move out of the ECC. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, some CAPP programs will be impacted. We are working to temporarily move as many of these programs as possible to our offices at 518 Hartford Ave and space at a number of our community partner organizations. Please visit our website (www.cappri.org) and Facebook page (Facebook.com/CAPofProvidence/) for regular updates.
As always, please feel free to contact me personally to share your thoughts, concerns, and hopes as we move forward.
Finally, I want to pledge to you all that CAPP will remain engaged in the fight to repair or rebuild the ECC. While we may no longer be a tenant in the building, we know what the ECC means to this community and we’ll roll up our sleeves to work with you and our elected leaders to find a real long-term solution for this treasured neighborhood institution.
Rilwan K. Feyisitan, Jr.
Community Action Partnership of Providence
Photos by Ana-Paula Monteiro