PERFECT STORM DESCENDS OVER SMITH HILL
Local Nonprofit & Business Team Up to Move the Providence Neighborhood Forward
For Immediate Release (Providence, RI) – What some might call an unlikely union between a nonprofit and a business, several community members are not surprised. The Smith Hill Community Development Corporation (SHCDC), an organization that has been offering affordable housing solutions and community resources to residents of Providence since 1992, and half full, llc, a business specializing in retreat facilitation, strategic planning, leadership and personal development, have moved into “The 400” together. With the shared vision of developing community and turning several blocks of Smith Street back to “main street,” the staff of both organizations can often be found strategizing the future of Smith Hill in their office at 400 Smith Street. Once a primary school built in the 1800s, the building has been and continues to be occupied by engineers, developers, lawyers and now, a powerful community-driven workforce situated on the first floor.
When the leaders of both organizations were asked, “why Smith Street?” they both smiled, knowing the question was simple, yet complex. “The SHCDC is expanding its footprint,” said Executive Director, Jean Lamb. “We have a well-known presence at 47 Goddard Street and 231 Douglas Avenue. Smith Street was the next logical choice in order for us to increase our presence to our current residents and others who would like to know what options they have for housing and other community resources.”
Founder and CEO of half full, llc, Rebecca Twitchell, brought her business to Rhode Island four years ago. “I grew up in Smith Hill at a time where business in this area was thriving, the community was full of energy and there was never a loss for something fun to do within just a few blocks. Together, with the SHCDC and other community partners, we are excited to help this stretch of Smith Street become the bustling area it once was and build community with everyone from youth to senior citizens, businesses, nonprofits, churches, schools … everyone.”
While Lamb and Twitchell have known each other for over 15 years through the early work of several people within their community networks, the two rekindled their partnership and passion for the neighborhood over the summer when half full, llc sought space at SHCDC’s location on Douglas Avenue as “headquarters” for a community survey it was conducting for one of its clients. Conversations about “what could be” within the community quickly turned into “what will be” once the two organizations decided to combine resources and move in together.
The first of several ideas, “The 400” has joined Providence’s “Gallery Night” as a stop on the April 21, 2016 local artist tour in which the office will host an Open House and be a destination for people to see several paintings, photos and prints produced by community artists and donated by the Art Collection-RI, an organization that connects artists and their communities by bringing art to community organizations such as clinics, youth and senior service programs, job training centers, shelters, residential programs, and more.
“We are looking forward to sharing the space, our collective mission and beautiful art from the local community with those on the tour and our friends and family who will attend our Open House,” said Lamb. “Then we’ll hit them up with all the dates we have planned for clean ups,” Twitchell joked. All jokes aside, the commitment these two female leaders have to the community is and will continue to be very evident in the upcoming years.
Gallery Night / “The 400” Open House is scheduled for 5:30pm-7:30pm on April 21, 2016.
About the Smith Hill Community Development Corporation:
Established in 1993, the Smith Hill Community Development Corporation (SHCDC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Smith Hill and its neighboring communities. This is achieved through the development and management of quality housing, with a focus on meeting the "affordability" needs of our residents. Success in improving our communities, inclusive of the development of quality affordable homes, is achieved along with our ongoing and expanding social, educational and recreational programming and services, developed and implemented by the organization in concert with, and supported by, our many community partners. www.smithhillcdc.org
About half full, llc
Motivated by several years of business and personal know how and how "not" to, half full is your go-to for the facilitation of any and all plans to get you from point A to point B. No longer are there any excuses standing in the way of achieving goals. Known for its unique and creative problem solving techniques, half full has got just what any individual or organization needs to overcome any and all obstacles standing in the way of their perceived impossible. www.half-full.com