Federal Hill House was founded in 1887 by Alida Sprague Whitmarsh. Originally located in the Mt. Pleasant section of Providence, the agency was known as the Mt. Pleasant Working Girls Club (MPWGC). MPWGC’s purpose was to help female immigrants, primarily Irish, assimilate to the American culture by immersing them in social and educational activities. Programs included English classes, immigration support, sewing/domestic skills, and painting.
In the early 1900's thousands of Italian immigrants settled in the Federal Hill area. Their basic needs were evident and so the agency moved to Atwells Avenue in 1914, changed its name and continued with its original purpose to help the newcomers adjust to their new surroundings, through social and educational programs. The efforts of those programs helped many future leaders in all walks of life.
Federal Hill House is one of the oldest community centers in Providence and we remain proud of our roots that helped support the basic needs of nearly 40,000 Irish and Italian immigrants. Today we continue to evolve and meet the emerging and urgent needs of 7,000 people, per year, in Providence.
We offer help with a continuum of emergency, social, and educational services, including early learning and school age child care, senior services, emergency food distribution, computer training, and support for families with young children.
Welcoming generation of families since 1887
The mission of Federal Hill House is to provide the best possible human services to our clients with the goal of improving their quality of life through education, support, and emphasis on independence/self sufficiency. We will embrace diversity and serve people from all walks of life with special consideration to those in need.
Center for Early Learning
City of Providence
Corporation for National and Community Service
June Rockwell Levy Foundation
Living Well Rhode Island
Providence VITA/EITC Coalition
Rhode Island Community Food Bank
Rhode Island Department of Elderly Affairs
Rhode Island Department of Health
Rhode Island Department of Human Services
Rhode Island Foundation
Rhode Island Legislative Grant
Rhode Island Office of SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program)
United Way Rhode Island
University of Rhode Island
WIC Program at St. Joseph's Health Center
Federal Hill House grew and received new funding in 2016. With new support from United Way RI, Federal Hill House partnered with the RI Department of Health and other agencies to expand our Living Well RI program to the entire state. Living Well RI is an initiative that offers health promotion programs for seniors 60 years +. Our VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program expanded to 8 organizations across the city, with investment in the program made by CDBG (Community Development Block Grant), United Way RI, and the IRS. Finally, we secured funding from the City of Providence to enhance our Basic Needs program and food pantry.
Here is a list of some of our other accomplishments in 2016:
2639 individuals accessed emergency/basic needs services.
151 children received high quality early learning, before/after school, and summer camp services.
46 children participated in the Daily Orchestra Program, which is a partnership with Community MusicWorks.
2520 hot meals were served to seniors through our Meals on Wheels program.
269 people age 55 years+ participated in volunteer opportunities designed for community impact.
12 children participated in our Special Olympics Team and Young Athletes Program.
8 children competed in Special Olympics State-wide games.
3230 clients received free income tax preparation though the Providence VITA/EITC Coalition, led by Federal Hill House.
FHH’s vision is to be a leader in the nonprofit sector in Rhode Island by creating programs that are trendsetting on matters of early childhood education, out of school time programming, family support services, basic needs, and financial literacy. Programs will be uniquely branded, maintain a cohesive purpose, and measure community impact.