State, local officials and representatives of community agencies gathered at Central Falls-based Progreso Latino for an announcement of a federal grant received by the state’s Division of Elderly Affairs (RIDEA) that will keep older Rhode Islanders at home in their community. As part of its mission to support healthy communities and promoting community-based services for older adults, on May 8, 2018, RIDEA brought the good news about the $1.5 million in Older Americans Act Title IIIB grants to ten community agencies. The grants will fund multiple projects across the state, including health screenings, financial counseling services, intergenerational programs, transportation services and various other programs.
“Seniors should be able to live in their own homes and remain active members of their communities for as long as they choose. These grants will help Rhode Island’s seniors live happier, healthier, more independent lives, helping with everything from transportation to financial planning,” said Governor Gina Raimondo. “I’m grateful the organizations will be providing these critical services.”
Empowering Older Rhode Islanders
“As the state unit on aging, RIDEA strives to empower older Rhode Islanders; this funding and our partnerships with these ten agencies will advance our mission,” said RIDEA Director Charles J. Fogarty. “The work that is done every day in the community is what truly makes a difference, and for that I must thank our partner agencies,” he said.
Mario Bueno, Executive Director of Progreso Latino, one of RIDEA’s newest community partners, stated, “The support of the RIDEA is essential for Progreso Latino. Without these funds it would be very difficult to continue our wellness and educational activities with the senior citizen community. The RIDEA is also incentivizing our collaboration efforts in order to ensure greater community capacity. Therefore, we are very happy to be working with the City of Central Falls in order to coordinate educational and social activities to better serve elder adults in Central Falls.”
The City of Central Falls, Progreso Latino and the Central Falls Housing Authority work together to ensure programming and support services are provided to their senior residents. “It is essential that we provide our senior residents with adequate programming and support services,” said Mayor James A. Diossa. “I thank the RIDEA for including Progreso Latino as one of its newest community partners and for the phenomenal work they have done for our elderly population. Their support has allowed us to organize our summer concert series and offer various field trips,” the Mayor said.
Community Agencies Are Lifelines to Seniors
“Our seniors deserve the opportunity to live independent, fulfilling lives for as long as possible,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Eric J. Beane. “Community agencies are often lifelines for our seniors, connecting them to social networks, healthcare, and other vital supports. I am pleased to join Director Fogarty in celebrating and investing in the important work of these partners. Congratulations to all of today’s grant recipients,” he noted
Recognizing the significant role of senior centers, Governor Gina M. Raimondo is proposing to double the state general revenue investment in those agencies and services from $400,000 to $800,000 in the state fiscal year 2019 budget. Investments such as this will begin to rebalance the long-term care system and are a priority across the Health and Human Services Cabinet, led by Secretary Beane.
The ten community agencies receiving Title IIIB grant funding are:
Capital City Community Center, 25 Danforth Street, Providence, RI;
Catholic Social Services of Rhode Island, 1 Cathedral Square, Providence, RI;
Community Action Partnership of Providence, 518 Hartford Avenue, Providence, RI;
Cranston Senior Services, 1070 Cranston Street, Cranston, RI;
Davinci Center for Community Progress, 470 Charles Street, Providence, RI;
East Bay Community Action Program, 100 Bullocks Point Avenue, Riverside, RI;
Leon Mathieu Senior Center, 420 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI ;
Progreso Latino, 626 Broad Street, Central Falls, RI;
Senior Services, Inc., 84 Social Street, Woonsocket, RI;