Newport County nonprofits win grants for housing, hunger and behavioral health

NEWPORT, RI – Seven Newport County nonprofits working on food insecurity, housing instability and homelessness prevention, and behavioral health are among those that will share $8.3 million in grants from the Rhode Island Foundation.

State leaders funded the foundation’s ARPA Nonprofit Assistance Program using $20 million from the state’s $1.1 billion share of the federal American Rescue Plan Act allocation for COVID-19 recovery. Governor Dan McKee, House Speaker K.K. Joseph Shekharchi and Senate President Dominic J. Ruggerio joined the foundation last month to unveil the program.

“Nonprofits across the state are stepping up to provide support and resources to those in need. Given the impact of COVID-19 and increased ongoing costs, our grants ensure they can continue to perform the essential work their communities depend on,” said Neil D. Steinberg, President and CEO of the Foundation.

The Boys and Girls Club of Newport County, Connexion Latina Newport and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Newport and Child and Family in Middletown, Community Blessings Foundation, Lucy’s Heart and Newport Mental Health are among the organizations receiving funding. The Foundation prioritizes community-based nonprofits serving communities of highest need.

Newport Mental Health will use its grant to expand the services it provides to children and their families in schools, at its specialized Healthy Transitions Young Adult Center, and during home visits in Newport County. In addition, the grant will also support the rollout of mobile crisis outreach teams in Newport and Bristol counties and East Providence in partnership with Horizon Healthcare Partners, Community Care Alliance and Health RI.

“This funding is very important to us and will help us in two important areas. We can reach children to improve their present as well as make a positive impact on their future. Jamie Lehane, President and CEO of Newport Mental Health Said, “Mental health care in children is needed now more than ever.”

“Also, we are a strong advocate of decriminalizing mental health issues. Mobile teams working in the community will help people with mental health issues get treated instead of being arrested or sent to the emergency room,” he said.

The Foundation encourages organizations that have not yet received grants to apply for the remaining $11.7 million. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the funds are exhausted. The maximum grant is expected to be $150,000.

“We are grateful that state leaders have confidence in our ability to quickly get this funding to organizations that are booting up to help their communities recover from the pandemic’s continued impact on daily life across Rhode Island. —doing on-the-ground work,” Steinberg said.

Applicants must have a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) and must submit a copy of their most recent IRS Form 990, 990EZ or 990N; and their 501(c)(3) IRS determination letter with their application if it is not already on file with the Foundation. For more information, visit

Ryan Belmore is the owner and publisher of WhatsAppNup.
Belmore has been associated with WhatsUpNup since shortly after its launch in 2012, was named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019 and 2020 and received an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards . In 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has also lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors of the Potter League for Animals. He previously served on the board of the Arts and Cultural Alliance for Lucy’s Hearth and Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jane, currently reside in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they plan to make in 2021. Read more about it here –

Belmore visits Newport every two weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors WhatUpNews is on the ground in Rhode Island, which it has called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by Lion and won the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Newport County’s Dominic Award.
Belmore can be reached at [email protected] and 401-662-1653.

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