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Fund of the Providence Shelter for Colored Children Grants

The application for this program is currently closed

The Providence Shelter for Colored Children established two funds at the Rhode Island Foundation: a donor advised fund in 2014 through which the Shelter's board recommends grants for the community and an organization endowment in 2016 from which grants are made back to the Shelter to ensure a secure funding stream for the organization.

About the Providence Shelter

The Providence Shelter is one of the oldest continually functioning charities in the United States. It opened in 1838, when white Quaker women noticed Black families needing a place to care for their children if, for example, the mother was a live-in maid to a white family, or the father was at sea. Existing children’s homes in Providence were closed to children of color, so a building on Wickenden Street was purchased to provide accommodation for such children.

More than a century later, the Shelter, by then in a larger building on Olive Street, closed its doors. Funds from selling the property were invested in an endowment.

This endowment generates funds which the multiracial Board donates to numerous local organizations offering services to children of color in Greater Providence.

Although there are occasional discussions about changing the name to reflect more recent usage, the Board believes that, like the NAACP, it’s name is part of it’s history, and should remain—even if it is now known more familiarly as the Shelter.

Our Role Today

In our current role as a grantmaking foundation since 1951, The Providence Shelter persists in its commitment to funding organizations that serve Black children and youth in Rhode Island, with a focus on education, health, and cultural enrichment. The Shelter is also active in advocacy, championing policies and programs that uplift children and families of color, continuing the impactful work initiated by community organizations over a century ago.

Financial Stewardship and Fund Management

In 2014, The Providence Shelter established two significant funds with the Rhode Island Foundation—a donor-advised fund to recommend grants for the community, and an organizational endowment fund in 2016 to secure a stable funding stream for the Shelter. This prudent financial management and the dedicated oversight of a diverse Board of Managers have enabled the Shelter to navigate the 21st century effectively while continuing to support its core mission.

The Providence Shelter for Colored Children, often referred to as The PSCC, is one of the oldest active charities in the United States. Its name, which has been the subject of many discussions over the years, stands as a testament to its extensive history. The Board maintains that the name reflects a proud heritage of over 180 years of service to children of color in Providence. The Shelter's resolve to continue this service is as strong as ever, honoring the vision of its founders and the needs of the present and future generations.

Continuing the Legacy

As The Providence Shelter for Colored Children moves forward, it does so with respect for its past and a clear vision for the future. The dedication to service that began in a small building on Olive Street has now transformed into a far-reaching philanthropic endeavor, ensuring that the values of the Shelter's founding members endure.

For more information on The Providence Shelter for Colored Children and its grant programs, please visit our website or explore our history at the Rhode Island Historical Society.

To apply

A complete application package includes:

Specific information regarding this grant program, the application process, and upcoming deadlines can be found here.

To complete an application that is already in progress, and to submit, please click here.

Application Deadline

Applications must be submitted by midnight (EST) on March 31, 2024. Please note that no technical assistance will be available after 5 p.m. (EST).