News & Event
Mon, January 22, 2018
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM EST
United Way of Rhode Island
50 Valley Street
Providence, RI 02909
Interested in learning how to be an advocate? Join United Way of Rhode Island for an Advocacy 101 workshop to learn how to help advance our legislative goals of improving housing and education in the state.
A light dinner will be included.
Click here to register for this free event.
Have you ever asked yourself...
"How can I be sure that my projects will reach the right audience and have the right impact?"
"What can I do to make sure that my efforts go beyond 'the usual suspects'?"
"How do I measure the impact of my efforts?"
...if so, this course if for you!
In this interactive workshop, using your own project idea, you will learn how to design it to achieve measurable results. You'll sharpen your skills in information gathering, project planning, and evaluation preparation, and walk away with confidence in how to build in accountability and strategic thinking for project success. To ensure that you're ready to dive into the workshop material, you'll be asked to complete a short assignment and participate in a brief call before the workshop; in total these tasks will not exceed 1.5 hours.
Target Audiences: natural resource mangers (federal, state, local), municipal staff, officials, and volunteers, NGO staff and other interested parties.
14 AICP credits offered
This course is taught by trainers from NOAA's Office for Coastal Management. Thanks to NOAA funding, it is offered free of charge.
(PLEASE NOTE that if you register, you are committing to BOTH days)
Space is limited so register early to reserve your spot!
Questions? Please contact Jennifer West at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-222-4700, x7413.
By ANNA KRAMER
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
Monday, November 27, 2017
Loud conversation and the smell of meatloaf baking filled the entryway of All Saints Memorial Church in downtown Providence Nov. 14. At the church every Tuesday, the hungry and homeless can find a free and freshly cooked dinner provided by nonprofit City Meal Site. On that Tuesday night, the short, graying and flannel-clad Reverend Maryalice Sullivan greeted homeless and formerly homeless individuals. On their way out, the constituents were stopped by a few University students, who asked to discuss political advocacy for the homeless.
These students — members of the advocacy and outreach group Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere — were conducting the 2017 Government Relations Survey, which is used to determine high-priority legislative goals for homeless individuals. The GR survey has been used in past years to gather data for nonprofit groups that lobby for legislative action in the Rhode Island State House, said Gabriel Zimmerman ’18, co-director of HOPE. The survey was formerly administered by the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, but reduced funding limited RICH’s capacity to conduct the survey this year, he added. As a result, HOPE volunteered to redesign and conduct the GR survey in order to ensure its continued existence.
Redesigned survey tries to ask the right questions
“We’ve decided there are some changes we wanted to make to” the GR survey, Zimmerman said.
In redesigning the survey, the group changed the types of questions presented, said Morgan Talbot ’18, advocacy director for HOPE. Surveys in previous years have asked participants to identify the largest and most pressing issues facing homeless individuals, according to the 2016 survey. Access to affordable housing was the most pressing issue for almost half of those surveyed in 2016.
That pattern repeated itself in previous years, Talbot said, adding that it made the survey increasingly less useful in providing new information. “Part of the criticism of the survey in the past was that we tend to get some of the same responses every year,” he said.
“This year, we’re focusing much more on concrete legislative actions that have been discussed previously by advocacy groups,” Talbot added.
At All Saints Church Nov. 14, Talbot asked homeless individuals to choose three out of 10 possible legislative actions and prioritize them. Proposals on the list included making “it illegal for landlords to deny housing to someone based on source of income or having a Housing Choice (Section 8) Voucher” and funding “free child care for homeless families with children.” Other survey questions asked for ideas and opportunities not listed, as well as basic demographic information.
By the end of the night, Talbot, Zimmerman and other HOPE volunteers had collected roughly 20 surveys.
HOPE has made several other changes to the survey collection method this year. For example, the group now conducts data collection in Spanish, as well as other languages if possible.
In addition, surveys have been collected in other parts of Providence as well as Pawtucket, Cranston, Westerly and Woonsocket, and group members will travel to Newport and Middletown later this week, Zimmerman said.
By expanding the survey’s geographical range, HOPE has given advocacy groups a new asset in lobbying reluctant State House representatives. Non-profit groups and student activists hope to present representatives with data from their own districts and constituents, which should make lobbying more effective, said Will Gomberg ’20, one of two outreach coordinators for HOPE.
Legislative lobbying finds success
The group will analyze the data and present it to a meeting of non-profit groups at RICH’s headquarters in the coming weeks, Talbot said. The State House session begins in January and ends in June, and HOPE and other Rhode Island nonprofits will base their lobbying campaigns off of the results of the survey, Zimmerman said.
“We’re aiming to get about 150 to 200 surveys” before Dec. 5, Gomberg said. But HOPE, with the assistance of teams from other student and off-campus groups, has far surpassed that number. As of Monday, the group had collected about 250 surveys and aims to have 300 by the end of the week, Zimmerman said.
HOPE has participated in several effective lobbying campaigns in the past. In spring 2017, HOPE students were active lobbyists and participants in the successful movement to restore the no-fare bus pass for low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities. The group also canvassed for an affordable housing bond initiative in 2016 and lobbied successfully for a homeless bill of rights in 2012, The Herald previously reported.
“We always partner with existing community organizations if they’re already doing the work,” Zimmerman said.
Student outreach tackles case management
Students are often limited in their lobbying abilities by their academic time commitments, both Zimmerman and Gomberg said. In spite of those commitments, both outreach and advocacy have continued to grow. The HOPE outreach staff travels in teams of four or five, six nights a week on three different routes. Those routes travel through downtown Providence, the south side of Providence and Pawtucket.
HOPE works through two primary avenues — direct service, called outreach, and political action, called advocacy. The group has expanded in recent years, growing from 45 members in spring 2017 to 75 members this semester. That has increased HOPE’s capacity for both direct service and advocacy, Zimmerman said.
Some students are also beginning to build “case management” skills, Gomberg said. For example, a group of HOPE students recently received a training on how to help homeless individuals obtain various forms of identification in order to successfully navigate the application process for housing vouchers.
HOPE’s growth into case management, expanded outreach and new survey leadership all stem from a central motivating mission, Zimmerman said. “HOPE’s goal is to eradicate homelessness. … We believe that direct service isn’t enough by itself. There has to be a structural aspect to make change in the community,” he said.
At the meal site Nov. 14, Zimmerman spoke with Reverend Sullivan at the doorway during a pause in the collection of surveys. Systemic change to the problem of homelessness “would be my dream,” Sullivan said. “Society as a whole needs to grasp that there are those who have literally nothing.”
A few days before the trip to the City Meal Site, Zimmerman explained his dedication to HOPE while rain lashed against the window. “Once a week, you take two hours … and you have conversations with people who are literally in this weather living on the street,” Zimmerman said. It “reinforces how much more we have to do on behalf of the Providence community.”
Courtesy of The Brown Daily Herald
Roger Williams University: Social Justice Month Events
Thursday, Oct 19
Sponsored by Housing Works RI and RWU Chief Diversity Officer
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.
This workshop will utilize information collected by Housing Works RI around how housing decisions are made. The workshop will study zip codes to see what that revels to us about housing, race, and socio-economic status.
Click to view the How Housing Works flyer.
Tuesday, Oct 24
Sponsored by FIMRC and Public Health
Film and discussion led by Dr. Kerri Warren and members from the RWU Chapter of FIMRC
UNNATURAL CAUSES is the acclaimed documentary series broadcast by PBS and now used by thousands of organization and clubs to tackle the root causes of our alarming socioeconomic and racial inequities in health.
Click to view the Unnatural Causes flyer.
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
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.
Ten years ago, a group of 29 faith leaders and advocacy organizations in Rhode Island got together and formed the Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty.
The coalition, part of a national movement, grew from an idea presented at a national meeting of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) in the summer of 2008, according to Maxine Richman, one of the original Rhode Island members.
The coalition is committed to the belief that every Rhode Islander deserves to have the basics, including affordable housing, nutritious food, accessible health care, an equitable education and livable wages.
To achieve this goal, the R.I. group joined together with the JCPA, the National Council of Churches, Catholic Charities USA and other groups across the U.S. in an initiative called “Fighting Poverty with Faith.” The goal was to cut poverty in the U.S. in half by 2020.
Through the years, the coalition has advocated for legislation that helps the poor, including laws that reduce homelessness and increase affordable housing, raise the minimum wage and earned income tax credits, and increase the number of low-income children in Head Start, pre-kindergarten and child-care programs. A key recent issue was advocating for no-fare bus passes for the elderly, low-income and those with disabilities.
On Jan. 3, from 3 to 4 p.m., the group will hold its 10th annual Fighting Poverty with Faith Vigil at the Rhode Island State House. Clergy and faith leaders from across Rhode Island will gather in the State House Rotunda to call on elected leaders to “govern with care, compassion and wisdom.” And, as they do each year, they will propose legislative action to reduce poverty in Rhode Island.
Students from the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island will blow shofars to call together the gathering.
In addition to the vigil and legislative advocacy, the group sponsors a conference each May that addresses poverty issues.
FRAN OSTENDORF (email@example.com) is the editor of The Jewish Voice.
Courtesy of The Jewish Voice
MassNAHRO, the leading housing and community development advocate for the provision and preservation of adequate and affordable housing for those with low and moderate incomes, is seeking a dynamic new Executive Director. Based in Boston, MassNAHRO serves members comprising approximately 240 public housing agencies and more than 1,300 publicly elected and appointed officials throughout the Commonwealth.
The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (MassNAHRO) was established in 1972. It parallels and complements the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) as an official state chapter. MassNAHRO is primarily concerned with the policies of State agencies and State programs and the implications of national policies at the state and local levels. Members own or manage almost 50,000 state-funded public housing units, more than 33,000 federally-funded public housing units, 4,200 state-funded rental assistance units and 55,000 federal Section 8 units. The MassNAHRO Code of Conduct emphasizes adherence to the highest degree of professionalism and promotion of the public interest by all members. Please see www.massnahro.org.
MassNAHRO’s services include:
§ Monthly information concerning pertinent Federal and State legislation, issues impacting housing and community development programs, policy changes and other matters of importance to members.
§ Professional development opportunities including educational and technical workshops, seminars and conferences utilizing expert trainers and leaders in the field. MassNAHRO offers both the Massachusetts Public Housing Administrator and Board Member Certification Programs at various locations across the state on a continual basis.
§ Representation at the State Legislature, the MA Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Members also have access to publications, an awards program, discounts on products and services, networking opportunities and service on standing committees. MassNAHRO also administers an insurance plan that offers worker’s compensation coverage to members.
MassNAHRO was instrumental in public housing reform and the passage of Chapter 235 of the Acts of 2014 - An Act Relative to Local Housing Authorities: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2014/Chapter235. Chapter 235 provides innovative strategies designed to assist Authorities with capital improvement, purchasing, unit turn over, wait list management and interagency collaborations. MassNAHRO worked closely with the Joint Committee on Housing, State Senators and Representatives, local housing authority staff, residents and other local officials to achieve the positive sweeping changes to the oversight, governance and operation of local housing authorities brought about by this blueprint for the future.
MassNAHRO is governed by a Board of Directors of approximately 20 housing authority Executive Directors/Commissioners. The new Executive Director will succeed long-time well-respected leader Tom Connelly who has recently retired.
The Executive Director reports directly to the MassNAHRO Board of Directors and serves as the spokesperson, liaison and coordinator with all major stakeholders of the Association. S/he is accountable for the Association’s financial performance and is responsible for daily management of all operations of MassNAHRO. We seek a leader with intellect, initiative, integrity and flexibility to work with an active membership; respect and humility to honor the impressive work done to date; and creativity to lead the Association to new levels of service.
§ External Leadership: Advocate on behalf of MassNAHRO members for needed affordable housing and community development laws and policies and involve members as appropriate. Develop relationships with legislators, other public officials, federal and state agencies such as HUD and DHCD, peer membership organizations, and local, state and national leaders. Serve as spokesperson concerning the business and governmental affairs of the Association as directed by the Board and manage the Association’s media relations.
§ Financial Oversight: Prepare an annual budget and manage financial affairs within the approved budget. Present transparent financial reports and immediately communicate any financial or fiduciary issues to the Board. Explore new and innovative avenues for revenue generation.
§ Association Management: Manage the Association on an ongoing basis including provision of all services promised to members as part of their Association dues. Oversee provision of professional development services and programs for members, and advocate on behalf of the membership.
§ Personnel Management: Maintain and follow appropriate policies for hiring, discipline and termination of staff. Provide day-to-day direction, delegation and control for the staff, maintaining a high performing and productive environment of talented and enthusiastic employees.
§ Interaction with the Board: Report to and confer with the Board of Directors, providing information to help the Board in strategic planning and formulating effective policies. Support the board in effective governance, ensure the effectiveness of the committee structure, and provide staff support to committees. Facilitate monthly board meetings. Implement policies of the Association as determined by the Board, reporting to the Board on progress and completion of assigned tasks and goals. Execute, secure and maintain corporate documents and commitments as authorized by the Board.
§ Member communication: Encourage membership in the Association and maintain active, supportive relationships with members. Regularly provide members with up-to-date and accurate information pertinent to the goals and decisions of the Association as well as legislative updates. Attend meetings of related organizations to provide updates on Association activities and generate support of Association priorities. Generate informative articles for monthly newsletters and take an active role at related conferences and events.
§ Commitment to the mission and dedication to affordable housing, public housing and/or community development
§ Experience in affordable housing, public housing and/or community development administration
§ Up-to-date knowledge of programs and policies governing affordable housing, public housing and/or community development
§ Experience in legislative and policy advocacy/government relations and outstanding advocacy skills
§ Proven experience successfully managing an organization including financial and staff management
§ Experience working with a board of directors
§ Proven ability to successfully manage critical, strategic relationships with partners
§ Strong team orientation and evidence of collaborative and respectful work style
§ Ability and experience as a dynamic and compelling spokesperson
§ Exceptional oral, written, listening and interpersonal communications skills
§ Association management experience/certification a plus.
To Apply in confidence, please send cover letter and resume to Susan Egmont, Egmont Associates, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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