We’re Celebrating 50 years of open doors.


The community pillar award

The Community Pillar Award recognizes four pillars of the community: a local business, a nonprofit, a youth, and a member of WEHDC’s Board, all of who have shown unwavering commitment to the West End neighborhood.




Joe Cardoza Unsung Hero Award

The Joe Cardoza Unsung Hero Award honors a member of our community for doing things that others would not do, could not do, or did not find time to do to make the West End a better neighborhood. This year, the Joe Cardoza Unsung Hero nomination process was open to public voting to determine this year’s awardee.



Like many Providence residents, I’d been aware of some of the work West Elmwood Housing had done in our community but it wasn’t until I started campaigning throughout the 8th Ward and began meeting with residents, renters, homeowners, and small businesses who spoke to me of their experiences with West Elmwood staff and programs. They shared their stories. Single moms who went from being renters in units developed by West Elmwood who later signed up for homebuyer classes and were able, with the help of the staff of West Elmwood to become homeowners. In my travels around the ward, I am consistently reminded of the work that West Elmwood has done throughout its history in the West End. The evidence is on almost every street, I can’t imagine what a very different place the West end would be without the commitment and hard work of the staff. As a community, we are not without our challenges and as the City Councilman from the 8th Ward, I am hopeful that with committed partners like West Elmwood we will meet these challenges head-on and build a better, safer more prosperous Community. It is an honor to win this award from West Elmwood Housing especially on their 50th Anniversary.

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victories over the last 30 years


1986 after a hiatus, WEHDC merged with the West End Foundation to develop a strategic

1992 Founding member of the Housing Network of RI-the association of CDCs

1998 Charter member of NeighborWorks® America.

1998 Became a Lender

1999 Joined the Fund for Community Progress

1999 HUD Housing Counseling Agency

2001 Designated as a CDFI by the U.S. Treasury Department

2002 First Historic adaptive re-use development of a Brownfield site-69 units

2004 Established West Elmwood NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Center

2004 National Community Development Association Audrey Nelson Award

2004 Formed ClearCorps USA program site

2005 Recognized by Citizens Bank/NBC Channel 10 as a Champion in Action

2008 Received Mayor’s Award for Leadership in Housing Production

2009 Participated in Ford Foundation Living Cities foreclosure recapture pilot

2010 Served as a LISC-RI Our Neighborhoods site leader

2011 Recipient of Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders Award

2011 Sankofa initiative was formed and community gardening began.

2012 Partnered with the Town of Barrington Housing Committee to develop 11 ownership

2014 Awarded National Green Organization designation

2014 Sankofa World Market inaugural season

2014 Entered strategic alliances with workforce development agencies to provide on-the-job

2015 Produced the West End Food Assessment

2016 Included in the book ‘NeighborWorks Works: Practical Solutions from America’s

2016 Developed 50 unit Sankofa Apartments and urban micro-Farm

2016 Presented at International Food Design Expo in Milan, Italy

2016 Awarded RI Real Jobs grant for Business Skills for the Construction trades in

2016 Dunamis Synergy collaboration was formed

2017 Opened Contractor Support Center

2018 Sankofa WIC funded and opened

2018 Received National Civic League Award for Health Equity

2018 Received Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity

2018 Received $1.7 million grant through RIDOH from US DHHS for Dunamis Synergy

2019 Invited to join National ASCEND Network

2019 Invited to participate in regional DHS Whole Family Initiatives

2019 Became Backbone Agency for 02907 Health Equity Zone