Mayor Elorza Announced Increased Investments and Support for a Safe and Compassionate City

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge Elorza joined elected officials and a vast coalition of
community members, business owners, social service providers and interfaith
community representatives to announce increased investment and support for citywide
health and safety.

«The issues we are addressing today are not unique to Providence. They are complex
and multifaceted, but by coming together as community, we have the opportunity to
make lasting change,» said Mayor Jorge Elorza. «By addressing this issue creatively,
collaboratively and compassionately while incorporating best practices from
throughout the country, Providence can become a model for the entire nation.»

In addition to committing to the ongoing support for increased police presence in
the Downtown neighborhood, the Mayor announced a partnership with the City Council
to allocate resources to launch a day center. The center will be a service rich
environment that connects individuals to community resources. This space will
provide for a dependable and safe alternative, especially necessary in times of
inclement weather and often in dire need. In the coming months, the request for
proposals (RFP) process will be announced and will ask service providers to provide
potential locations and innovative service models.

«I’m excited to work with Mayor Elorza to address these sensitive challenges with
compassion and collaboration. Poverty is a problem that extends far beyond Kennedy
Plaza,» said Council President Aponte. «Poverty is bigger than Providence, and we
need all hands on deck to make meaningful change.»

«Simply put, people need a place to go. I’d like to thank Mayor Elorza and my City
Council colleagues-especially Council President Aponte and Finance Chairman
Igliozzi- for listening to the needs of the Eleventh Ward, and for working with me
to bring a day center and services to the people of Providence in greatest need,»
added Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris.

The City of Providence is going to provide support directly to Amos House, a local
organization that aims to address issues of hunger, homelessness, and poverty. Amos
House’s pilot of an innovative model, «A Hand Up», will provide work opportunities
for people who are underemployed or unemployed and look to panhandling as a main
source of income. In addition to ‘A Hand Up’, the City will work to support the
efforts by The Providence Center and collaborative work already being done to launch
the «Emmanuel House», a diversion center that will provide critical assistance to
people who are struggling with substance abuse.

As part of a community engagement campaign, Mayor Elorza announced PVD
GIVES. This program will combine an interactive website
with «giving meters» placed throughout the city to encourage those who want to
donate to give to the meters instead of individuals directly. Funding from meters is
to be allocated to proven successful social supports. Supplemented by a public
education campaign, PVD GIVES will allow targeted outreach to connect residents in
need with easy to access, much needed services.

Going forward, Mayor Elorza will continue to engage the broad coalition brought
together today and work collaboratively to advocate for the critical resources that
are needed to provide mental health, substance abuse and housing supports to people
in need. Advocating for the adequate state and federal funding for these services
will be central to the Mayor’s legislative advocacy agenda.

Individuals looking to be connected to financial, domestic, health or
disaster-related resources can call the United Way at 2-1-1. To get connected to
city services, residents can call PVD311 (3-1-1). To get involved with PVD GIVES,
email pvdgives@providenceri.gov.