News & Event
By Amanda Milkovitz / Journal Staff Writer
Posted Sep 16, 2017 at 9:58 PM
Updated Sep 16, 2017 at 9:58 PM
Some 500 veterans attended the Operation Stand Down/Rhode Island outreach event at Diamond Hill State Park.
CUMBERLAND, R.I. — They served their country — some decades ago, some just recently, and some who deployed again and again.
And when they returned, some of them disappeared into the shadows of society and ended up on the streets, struggling and feeling forgotten by a public that claims to honor its veterans.
This is what three Vietnam veterans from Rhode Island — Tony DeQuattro, Robert O’Connor and Jack Ordner — saw happening to fellow servicemen and women decades ago. And, DeQuattro said Saturday, he was tired of waiting for the government to help.
So, 25 years ago, the three men held the first Operation Stand Down/Rhode Island outreach event. They set up a military-style tent city at the old Ladd School, in Exeter, and bused in homeless and at-risk veterans to spend the weekend, getting free medical and legal care, haircuts, and services from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Forty veterans came to that first event.
This weekend, it was more like 500. And at Diamond Hill State Park, where the event has been held for the last 23 years, the number of volunteers and services have also expanded to help homeless veterans.
RIPTA and shuttle buses brought in veterans from all across the state. The District Court and Traffic Tribunal set up tents to help veterans deal with court costs, expungements and traffic violations, while the state Department of Motor Vehicles assisted them with reinstating licenses. Veterans could get haircuts, dental care, medical and mental health services, check if they have unclaimed property, and pick up clothing.
Gov. Gina Raimondo, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Brig. Gen. Christopher P. Callahan of the R.I. National Guard and other Rhode Island dignitaries served meals. The veterans slept on fresh bedding and cots in tents named for fallen Rhode Island servicemen and women. Rhode Island motorcycle clubs provided security; most have members who are veterans.
The setting was meant to invoke memories of their military service, when they were treated with dignity and respect. In military terms, “stand down” means safety and rest.
Over the last 25 years, the need hasn’t changed, DeQuattro said. If anything, it’s grown with each new war.
So has Operation Stand Down/Rhode Island. The nonprofit organization now helps about 2,000 homeless and at-risk veterans find housing, employment and help with veterans benefits year-round.
DeQuattro’s youngest daughter, Dee DeQuattro Rothermel, was only 4 years old when it started, and she remembers playing with other children who came with their veteran parents. She realized as she grew older that those families were probably homeless.
Now communications and development director for Operation Stand Down, DeQuattro Rothermel said the event is still a family affair. She met her husband, David Rothermel, a Marine, when he arrived at an outreach seven years ago and asked to volunteer. The couple came up with the “Boots on the Ground” memorial two years ago, as a way to honor the fallen.
“My dad is very modest, but it’s a huge thing that he started 25 years ago,” she said. “We’re proud of him. It’s an accomplishment.”
DeQuattro spoke to the gathering of veterans at a ceremony Saturday afternoon.
“I do it because God told me to,” DeQuattro told them, “and because we have to take care of our brothers and sisters.”
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
2200 Southwood Drive, Nashua, NH
We invite you to be a part of the second New England Lead Conference taking place on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Nashua, NH. Hosted by the New England Lead Coordinating Committee, the conference will include a variety of educational sessions focusing on lead prevention, policy, model programs, outreach, the EPA’s Renovation, Remodeling and Repair Rule (RRP), lead abatement, compliance, and the economics of lead poisoning.
Read more >
October 4, 2017 in Events, Local Interest
The Narragansett Times: Dziobek steps down as Welcome House director
By KENDRA GRAVELLE Sep 29, 2017
SOUTH KINGSTOWN—When Joseph Dziobek accepted the position of executive director of Welcome House of South County nearly three years ago, he had expected the job would make for a simple transition into retirement.
But what was intended as a part-time gig turned into much more than that for Dziobek, who this week left his post.
“It’s been a challenge,” said Dziobek, whose last day on the job was Monday. “And it’s been very satisfying—I feel very close to the people who have been a part of it.”
Dziobek, 66, took the job at Welcome House after retiring from his career as CEO of Fellowship Health Resources. He said he intended only to stay for two or three years.
October 4, 2017 in Local Interest
Final Days to Register: 2017 Housing Fact Book Release
Date: Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Luncheon: 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Location: Rhode Island Convention Center, 1 Sabin Street, Providence RI
October 3, 2017 in Events, Local Interest
Rhode Island College: The Defamation Experience
Monday, October 30, 2017
5:00PM - Doors Open
6:00PM - Performance
SPONSORED BY: THE DIVISION OF COMMUNITY EQUITY AND DIVERSITY AND THE DIVISION OF STUDENT SUCCESS
THE PLAY * THE DELIBERATION * THE DISCUSSION
September 27, 2017 in Events, Local Interest
NLIHC: Sign Letters to Support Equitable Housing Recovery after Devastating Hurricanes
Help ensure that low income people and neighborhoods are treated fairly after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. A broad coalition of national, state, and local organizations is calling on Congress, FEMA, and HUD to ensure that the federal response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria is complete and equitable for everyone, especially families and individuals with the lowest incomes who are often the hardest hit by disasters and have the fewest resources to recover afterwards.
September 27, 2017 in Local Interest, National News
Roger Williams University: Social Justice Month Events
Thursday, Oct 19
Mary Tefft White Center
How Housing Works
4:00pm – 6:00pm
Sponsored by Housing Works RI and RWU Chief Diversity Officer
Keywords: socioeconomic status, race, jobs, housing, equity
Workshop with Brenda Clement, Director of Housing Works Rhode Island and Ame Lambert, RWU Chief Diversity Officer.
An overview of housing issues in Rhode Island and connections to the larger social justice agenda.
September 25, 2017 in Local Interest
Providence Journal: People on the move for the week of Sept. 17
Posted Sep 13, 2017 at 5:34 PM
Updated Sep 13, 2017 at 5:34 PM
Rhode Island LISC
Rhode Island Local Initiatives Support Corportation has welcomed two new employees. Jeremiah O’Grady, of Lincoln, joined LISC as program officer after spending more than 12 years at ONE Neighborhood Builders as real estate project manager and director of asset management and operations.
Liz Klinkenberg, of Warwick, was hired as communications director. She brings more than 15 years of public relations experience to her new position, including work for The Miami Herald and The Providence Journal.
The Providence American: Reed Announces $300k in Community Development Grants for NeighborWorks Affiliates
WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to promote healthy, vibrant neighborhoods across Rhode Island, U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced an additional $300,000 in federal funding for three Rhode Island-based affiliates of NeighborWorks America (NeighborWorks). These federal funds will help NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, ONE Neighborhood Builders, and West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation to provide affordable housing opportunities, generate job growth, and enhance economic stability for working families. Earlier this year, Senator Reed also helped to secure over $750,000 in federal funding for NeighborWorks affiliates in Rhode Island, bringing total NeighborWorks investment in the state to above $1 million for fiscal year 2017.
September 21, 2017 in Federal News, Local Interest
The Providence American: Providence Unveils PVD Gives Donation Station
PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today joined members of the City Council, public safety officials, and community leaders who have been named to the PVD Gives commission for the unveiling of the City’s first Donation Station at Kennedy Plaza. The retrofitted parking meter is one of ten stations that will be installed across the city to collect funds that will support local organizations that provide housing and services to those in need.
“PVD Gives and the new Donation Stations make it easier to give back,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “Our collective generosity can make all the difference in the lives of those striving to get back on their feet. I encourage visitors and residents to chip in and be part of the solution.”
September 21, 2017 in Local Interest
Providence Journal: Report: New England losing 65 acres of forestland per day
By Steve LeBlanc / Associated Press
Posted Sep 19, 2017 at 11:21 AM
Updated Sep 19, 2017 at 11:21 AM
BOSTON — New England has been losing forestland to development at a rate of 65 acres per day — a loss that comes at a time when public funding for preservation of open land, both state and federal, has also been on the decline in all six states.
That’s the conclusion of a report released Tuesday by the Harvard Forest, a research institute of Harvard University.
The study found public funding for land conservation in New England dropped by half between 2008 and 2014 to $62 million per year, slightly lower than 2004 levels.
Posted Oct 11, 2017 at 12:01 AM
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — For families with household incomes below $50,000, the improving housing market in 2016 meant rising prices, and fewer homes and apartments they can afford to rent or buy, according to a new report from HousingWorks RI at Roger Williams University.
The report found that in 2016, only two communities, Central Falls and Providence (not counting the East Side) offered “homes for sale that fit a household budget of under $50,000.”
For renters, there was no municipality in the state where the average cost of a two-bedroom rental apartment was affordable on a household income of $30,934, the median income for Rhode Island renters.
Even for renters earning less than $50,000, there were just six communities where the average rent price was “affordable:” Central Falls, Cranston, East Providence, Pawtucket, Providence (without the East Side) and Woonsocket.
Housing is deemed “affordable” if housing costs consume no more than 30 percent of a household’s gross income.
“Simply put, Rhode Island needs more housing,” said Barbara Fields, executive director of Rhode Island Housing. “The real estate market is booming right now, and that means housing prices are rising — which puts pressure on families who are already struggling to get by. The good news is that we have already begun taking steps to increase production, and the $50 million housing bond that passed last year is a start.”
As the “affordability gap” grew, there was also a jump in the number of foreclosures last year. There were 1,561 foreclosure deeds issued in the Ocean State in 2016, an increase of 32 percent compared with 2015, according to the 2017 Housing Fact Book.
In addition, “Rhode Island’s rate of seriously delinquent loans is still among the highest in the United States, ranking ninth in the fourth quarter of 2016,” the report added.
The Fact Book, an annual report from HousingWorks RI, tracks affordability and other housing issues across the state. It was scheduled for release Wednesday at HousingWorks’ annual luncheon, which this year includes a morning panel discussion “offering an in-depth look at the numbers.” HousingWorks RI is a nonprofit research group that became part of Roger Williams University in 2014.
The Fact Book also tracked an increase in 2016 in building permits, which rose by 23 percent to 1,226 permits. But this level is still far below projected needs.
“As noted in the Projecting Future Housing Needs Report (2016), commissioned by Rhode Island Housing, over the next 10 years there is an anticipated need for more than 34,000 new homes,” the Fact Book added, and “demand is for more than 27,000 of those to be multifamily and able to serve households with incomes less than 80 percent of area median income ($40,400 to $68,000 for households of one to four across the state).”
But many communities still have far to go in reaching the state-mandated goal of having 10 percent of their housing stock be long-term, deed-restricted affordable housing, the report added. Just five communities have met the goal: Central Falls, Newport, New Shoreham, Providence and Woonsocket.
Communities with less than 3 percent include: Barrington (2.66), Charlestown (2.86), Exeter (2.36), Foster (2.05), Glocester (2.23), Little Compton (0.56 percent), Portsmouth (2.83), Richmond (1.89), Scituate (0.85), and West Greenwich (1.41). However, statewide, the average is up to 8.29 percent.
Rhode Island continues to have an exceptionally low homeownership rate, particularly for communities of color.
“At 60 percent, Rhode Island has the lowest rate of homeownership among the six New England states, and ranks 46th nationally,” the report added. “Across race and ethnicity, homeownership rates in Rhode Island show great disparity. White residents have a homeownership rate of 65 percent, while Latino, Black and Asian household rates are 28 percent, 31 percent and 50 percent, respectively.”
On Twitter: @ChristineMDunn
R.I. housing costs, 2016
Median house price: $239,900
Income needed to afford this: $68,065
Average two-bedroom rent: $1,288
Income needed to afford this: $51,520
SOURCE: 2017 HOUSING FACT BOOK
Courtesy of Providence Journal
Validated parking will be provided for the 165 Washington St. garage. Please bring your parking ticket to the security desk for validation.
This event is designed specifically for the Veteran and service member community to explore a career in the Defense industry. Join RWU SCS and members of GD's Military and Veteran Affairs staff on Wednesday, November 1st from 6:00 - 7:30PM on the Providence campus to learn about job opportunities at General Dynamics. We'll also discuss how to attain the education and skills necessary to advance or begin a career in the Defense industry, particularly for existing opportunities at GD.
Rhode Island Muslims and recent refugees gathered in Cathedral Square in Providence to feed the homeless. Organized by AHOPE (Americans Helping Others ProspEr) and the MAE Organization for the Homeless, over 300 meals were prepared and served. This was the second annual Giving Back event and it seemed a great success.
AHOPE is a volunteer-based organization that was established to assist new refugees coming to Rhode Island with little to their name. Since its inception, AHOPE has helped scores of families to resettle in RI. The MAE Organization is a spiritually-based but not religious organization that seeks to serve the homeless population in Rhode Island.
This year entertainment was provided by the Tenderloin Opera Company, which builds community between the homeless and advocates through song and theater.
Sterk Zaza is a member of both AHOPE and the MAE Organization.
Courtesy of RIFuture
NLIHC announced the honorees of the 2018 Housing Leadership Awards who will be recognized at NLIHC’s annual Leadership Awards Reception in Washington, DC on March 20, 2018. The honorees are U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME); Lisa Hasegawa, former executive director of the National Coalition for Asian and Pacific American Community Development and NLIHC board member; and Matthew Desmond, PhD, MacArthur Genius Awardee and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.
Senator Collins will receive the 2018 Edward W. Brooke Housing Leadership Award for her years of leadership in Congress, unwavering commitment to addressing the needs of the lowest income people in the U.S., and steadfast support for federal affordable housing and homelessness programs. The Brooke Award is named for the late Senator Brooke (R-MA), who championed low income housing as a U.S. senator and as chairman of the NLIHC Board of Directors after he left the Senate. The Brooke award goes to an exemplary housing leader with a record of fighting for affordable housing on the national level.
Ms. Hasegawa will receive the 2018 Cushing Niles Dolbeare Lifetime Service Award for her years of dedication to affordable housing on behalf of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The Dolbeare Award, named after NLIHC’s late founder who has been referred to as the “godmother” of the affordable housing movement, goes to an individual who has demonstrated an unyielding commitment to achieving safe, decent and affordable homes for low income people over a long period of time.
Dr. Desmond will receive the Sheila Crowley Housing Justice Award in 2018 for his groundbreaking work to elevate the need for affordable housing for the lowest income people in America. The Crowley Award, named for former NLIHC President and CEO Sheila Crowley, goes to an outstanding leader who has elevated the conversation around affordable housing for those most in need.
Please make a Leadership Award Reception sponsorship donation honoring these outstanding leaders and supporting NLIHC’s mission of promoting socially just public policy to ensure the lowest income people in America have decent, affordable homes. To register for the 2018 Leadership Reception at which Ms. Collins, Ms. Hasegawa, and Dr. Desmond will be recognized, contact Christina Sin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsorship donations can be made at: http://bit.ly/2fSOtEH
By Mary MacDonald-October 12, 2017 4:30 am
PBN: What is the most encouraging trend in this year’s report?
CLEMENT: First of all, we did see an increase in building permits. That’s a good thing. But we still rank last, on a per capita basis, for the past six years. But we have seen some communities up their amounts. As the market is recovering, we are seeing some recovery in building and developing units. Twenty-five percent of those were for multifamily units, which is also a good trend. Our biggest need is going to be in multifamily.
PBN: What is the most discouraging trend?
CLEMENT: The most discouraging thing is if you make anything under $30,000 a year, you can’t reasonably afford to own anything or rent anything, anywhere in the state. Under $50,000, you can afford six communities, but that’s down from 11. Even more moderate-income workers are struggling in this economy.
PBN: One of the statistics in the report is that to meet future demand, the number of building permits for multifamily will have to grow at three times the current rate each year. How is that possible?
CLEMENT: It’s a steep challenge. What multifamily is, looks different in different communities. In a suburban or a more rural location, that might be duplexes or accessory dwelling units. But we clearly have to look at opportunities, particularly around transit nodes and other areas to provide more density in those locations, as part of the incentive for developers, so we can create more units. We also need to bring more units that are offline, online.
PBN: What incentives can be used to encourage towns to approve these developments, particularly those that would appeal to families of school-age children?
CLEMENT: We have to look at the school aid formula, we have to look at other ways to provide incentives. Our neighboring state, Massachusetts, has an [inclusive] law … that provides extra school aid for communities that develop additional family units and family housing. There are different incentives we can look at. It has to be the right mix of incentives. … The communities are a key partner. We want communities to be a willing partner, not one we’re going to have to keep dragging in.
PBN: We’ve had price escalation in real estate across the state, and across property types. Is it disproportionately affecting renters?
CLEMENT: Even homeowners have considerable cost burdens. Households with mortgages have a 37 percent housing cost burden, which means they’re paying more than 30 percent of their income toward housing. You can particularly see this as they age, or retire. Many seniors want to age in place, but keeping that roof over their head becomes even more of a struggle. There is no one easy solution.
Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at MacDonald@PBN.com. Follow on Twitter at MaryF_MacDonald.
Courtesy of Providence Business News
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