About Us

WE have a history of helping

We’ve been building a better West End for over 50 years—and we’re not stopping anytime soon.

STrong since 1975

From baby steps
to major strides

For over 50 years, West Elmwood has been working towards a healthier, happier, and more successful future for the residents of Providence’s West End. From our first small steps to building affordable apartments, we’re just as excited for the next 50 years.

How we got here

after a hiatus, WEHDC merged with the West End Foundation to develop a strategic focus plan that is the basis for our work today
Founding member of the Housing Network of RI-the association of CDCs
Became a charter member of NeighborWorks® America.
WEH became a Lender
Became a member of the Fund for Community Progress
Became a HUD Housing Counseling Agency
Designated as a CDFI by the U.S. Treasury Department
Became a NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Center
National Community Development Association Audrey Nelson Award
Became a Clear Corps USA program site
Received Mayor’s Award for Leadership in Housing Production
Recognized by NBC/Channel 10 as a Champion in Action
Participated in Ford Foundation Living Cities foreclosure recapture pilot
Recipient of Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders Award
Sankofa initiative was formed and community gardening began.
Partnered with the Town of Barrington Housing Committee to develop 11 ownership units toward their affordable housing goals
Became a LISC Our Neighborhoods site leader
Awarded National Green Organization designation
Sankofa World Market opened
Entered strategic alliances with workforce development agencies to provide on the job training in construction and landscaping
Produced the West End Food Assessment
Included in book ‘Neighborworks Works, Practical Solutions from America’s Community Development Network’
A 50 unit Sankofa Apartments and urban micro-Farm was constructed
Presented at International Food Design Expo in Milan, Italy
Awarded RI Real Jobs grant for Business Skills for the Construction trades in partnership with Roger Williams University
Dunamis Synergy collaboration was formed
Opened Contractor Support Center
Sankofa WIC funded and opened
Received National Civic League Award for Health Equity
Received Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity
Received $1.7 million grant through RIDOH from US DHHS for Dunamis Synergy program; Dunamis Synergy collaboration funded and operating
Invited to join National ASCEND Network
Invited to participate in regional DHS Whole Family Initiatives
Became head agency for 02907 Health and Equity Zone (HEZ)

Celebrating what
we’ve accomplished

In 2020, we celebrated our 50th anniversary. To mark this half-century of community impact, we looked back on everything West Elmwood has accomplished in our effort to build a better West End.

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—who have shown unwavering commitment to the West End neighborhood.

Community Pillar Award
Local business

Tropical Liquors

Community Pillar Award

Southside Community
Land Trust

Community Pillar Award
Board member

Carol Davis

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 Award nomination process was open to public voting to determine the awardee.

2020 Joe Cardoza Unsung
Hero Award Nominee

Councilman Taylor

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.

West Elmwood

Donations help West Elmwood continue improving lives in the West End community.