We’re here for you during COVID-19

Categories: Now Offering

In these unprecedented times, we quickly responded to health and safety guidelines and transformed our normal procedures to meet the developing needs of our community. We’re still here for you whether you need assistance or you are able to help.

The demand for income tax assistance has been high since filing deadlines for both the IRS and the states have been extended to July 15th. We resumed free preparation services with VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) through a no-contact drop-off process. Clients complete an intake form, and we make copies of the necessary documentation including photo ID, social security card, tax documents, and voided check. Preparers complete the return remotely and review it over the phone. No appointments necessary, drop in during drop-off hours Monday and Wednesday 9am-12pm and Tuesday 5pm-7pm at 9 Courtland Street.

For our youngest program participants, our Parents as Teachers and Providence Talks programs continue to provide support to parents with children age 0-4. Our parent educators now do virtual check-ins, read alouds on Youtube, and provide online educational resources and activity guides. Our Early Learning Center staff also offer resources and activities through online classrooms. Staff are attending online training to prepare to best serve your children when they come back to our care. We are also using this opportunity to enhance our curriculum.

Our food pantries have remained opened and have seen a surge in families seeking assistance. Our pantry at 35 Swiss Street is open Tuesday-Friday 9am-12pm, and our Olneyville Food Center at 261 Manton Avenue is open Tuesday-Friday 9am-2pm. At both of our pantries, staff and volunteers wear facemasks, follow appropriate hand hygiene practices, and keep 6ft social distance. Clients entering the pantry are required to wear facemasks, and are provided with a mask if they do not have one. Groceries are pre-packaged into bags that are ready to grab and go.  We have temporarily suspended documentation requirements as we help more people in need from our zip code and beyond. Though the stay-at-home order may soon be lifted and as the state starts to re-open in phases, we anticipate that families will continue to feel the impact of reduced hours, layoffs, and barriers to employment, and the demand for food assistance will remain high.

Our onsite senior services are currently suspended. To help our seniors stay safe at home, we have been able to deliver meals in partnership with Meals On Wheels of RI along with weekly groceries. Check-ins via phone are conducted to help reduce loneliness and isolation.  Would you like to volunteer in the food pantries or help some seniors? We need your help to stock shelves, prepare to-go bags, package meals, make deliveries, and call to check on and chat with a senior. Email Allori Fernandes at afernandes@federalhillhouse.org about opportunities to volunteer.

For more information about our ongoing services, please call 401-421-4722.

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