In response to the 2:30am shooting that occurred on June 26 in Prospect Terrace, the CHNA held a special emergency July meeting via Zoom. Lt. Joseph Dufault, commanding officer of police districts 8 and 9 on the East Side, was present to answer questions and provide an update on the situation. Ward 2 Councilperson Helen Anthony and Providence Parks Commissioner Wendy Nillson were also in attendance. About a dozen nearby neighbors voiced their concern over both the incident itself and what also seems to have been a spike in late-night parking, noise, and drug usage near the park over the past few months. Suggestions from attendees were then solicited on the best way to deal with this upsurge in late-night activities around Prospect Terrace. While acknowledging the current financial realities facing the City and a police department that is already understaffed, attendees suggested considering additional parking restrictions, more police drive-bys, video surveillance, or perhaps a gate that could be closed after sunset. The CHNA hopes to offer its own specific suggestions for the park after its August meeting.
In March, the SNA administered a Ward 3 COVID-19 neighborhood aid volunteer matching program. The more than 150 volunteers who signed up to help were connected with dozens of vulnerable area neighbors in need of grocery deliveries, supplies, help with transportation, or simply phone conversations. The SNA also connected volunteers with the Mount Hope Community Center, Camp Street Ministries Food Pantry, and Higher Ground International Rukiya Center to support contactless grocery and hot meal delivery programs serving hundreds of residents citywide. SNA President Ethan Gyles expresses gratitude to everyone who has been able and willing to step up and support a neighbor. Services remain available to those in need of assistance through the SNA website, and community members are welcome to apply to volunteer their time during this time as well.
The SPNA recently called on all Providence neighborhood groups to join them in expressing anger over the killing of George Floyd by supporting those protesting systemic racism and promoting efforts to channel feelings of hurt and anger into bringing the community to a better place. SPNA values inclusion and the active involvement of its neighbors in decisions that impact their lives, and they’ve expanded that value to ensure racial equity is a top priority. Moving forward, the SPNA will enhance its community assessment processes to ensure full representation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in urban planning and citywide decisions impacting the neighborhood through advocacy, partnerships with other neighborhood groups, creating alternatives to practices that perpetuate exclusion, and providing resources and additional support to other neighborhood groups who desire the same. The SPNA has also broadened its participation and fostered collaboration with other neighborhood groups throughout the city as a way of healing racial, community, and neighborhood divisions.