Residents express outrage at community forum about CAPP closure

By Brittany Comak


Twitter: @BComakABC6

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – People from the Elmwood neighborhood of Providence had strong words at a community forum Thursday night about the circumstances that have forced the Community Action Partnership of Providence to have to leave their current location.

“I would say I feel abandoned by the city,” said Paula Donovan of the Elmwood Neighborhood Association.

CAPP, which is the largest social services provider in Providence, has said they’ll have to close up their current location at the Elmwood Community center due to unsafe building conditions; including leaks and the presence of asbestos.

“It’s a time to be angry! It’s a time to move and to act,” said resident Sheila Wilhelm. “Because our neighborhoods, our children, our elderly, are consistently neglected!”

Many at the forum expressed frustration with the City of Providence, which owns the building, for letting it get to this point.

“The food pantry is gone, the social service programs are gone, and along with the food pantry now where is everyone going to go?” asked one resident.



“Many of them live and are supported day to day by the services that we provide them,” said CAPP Executive Director Rilwan Feyisitan, Jr.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Elorza previously called the circumstances unfortunate, saying the property is in need of almost $5 million in repairs, and they’ve allocated almost $2 million for this year.

But residents at the forum, some signing a petition to send to the city, say the repairs for the building shouldn’t be put off any longer.

“We want action. We want accountability,” said Feyisitan, Jr. “And we want that building to remain open.”

CAPP will be meeting with representatives of the mayor Friday.

They hope to have more information next week about where they’re going, as their move out date at the end of July is fast approaching.


©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019