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Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island invests in South County affordable housing efforts

Press Release issued February 2, 2023

BlueAngel joint press release - Habitat & Jonnycake - FINAL
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PRESS RELEASE – February 2, 2023 For Immediate Release

Contacts:

Colin Penney, South County Habitat for Humanity - (401) 213-6711 x304 colin@southcountyhabitat.org

Kate Brewster, Jonnycake Center for Hope - (401) 789-1559 kbrewster@jonnycakecenter.org


Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island invests in South County affordable housing efforts

Washington County, R.I. Each day, both the Jonnycake Center for Hope and South County Habitat for Humanity field dozens of calls from community members in desperate need of affordable housing. Both organizations have seen the demand for affordable housing more than double when compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.


To best serve the community, the Jonnycake Center for Hope has recently undergone a major transformation, now offering a multitude of high quality services out of their new facility headquarters in Peace Dale, RI. One of the key services now being offered by the center is housing those in unstable or unaffordable living situations. Recently, the organization acquired five multi-family units which will eventually house local families in need of shelter. Four of these units will require significant renovations.


During this same period, South County Habitat for Humanity has also been working hard to expand capacity, and has begun a 7-unit single-family affordable homeownership development in Hopkinton, RI. This project is several years in the making, and the largest undertaking in the organization's history. This development will become the permanent home for seven area families, all of whom have struggled to afford the high cost of rent in South County. Each family will purchase their home and pay a monthly mortgage payment equal to less than 30% of their monthly income, which will mean no longer being forced to choose between paying costly rent or putting food on the table.


Recently, both the Jonnycake Center and Habitat learned they are two of the five most recent recipients of the 2023 BlueAngel Community Health Grant program, through Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island. This grant will help fund the Jonnycake Center’s multi-unit renovation project, as well as Habitat’s Hopkinton development.


“We are so grateful to Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island for investing in two organizations that are working hard to provide affordable housing in South County, an area often overlooked as having poverty and homelessness. We applaud Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island for recognizing that housing is vital to the health of Rhode Islanders,” remarked Kate Brewster, Chief Executive Officer of the Jonnycake Center for Hope.


“This significant investment towards affordable housing in South County from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island represents our shared vision of a world where everyone has access to a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home” added Colin Penney, South County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director.


About Jonnycake Center for Hope

Jonnycake’s mission is to provide basic needs, resources, and hope to our community members. Our vision is a community without hunger and poverty where everyone can reach their full potential and improve their quality of life. For general information, call 401-789-1559, or visit our website at www.jonnycakecenter.org.


About South County Habitat for Humanity

South County Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating, and preserving homes, by advocating for fair and just housing policies, and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more general information, call 401-213-6711, or visit our website at www.southcountyhabitat.org.


About Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (bcbsri.com) is a non-profit, community-focused health plan established in 1939 to help Rhode Islanders finance their healthcare needs. Today, that purpose is still foundational to our work. We have a vision to improve health and well-being by leading access to high quality, affordable, and equitable care. We are an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.


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