PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Higher Ground International, an organization that provides resources for West African immigrant families and refugees, is getting a financial boost.
Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse secured $650,000 in federal funding to help the nonprofit “expand its reach” by building a new 10,000-square-foot headquarters in Providence.
“We envision this new building being a space where not only our African elders can come to receive support but where all community members can come to access what they need to rise high on higher ground,” Higher Ground International Executive Director Henrietta White-Holder said. “Thanks to these funds, we can continue to restore dignity, empower lives, and give peace.”
White-Holder came to Rhode Island from Liberia in 1980 and founded Higher Ground International in 2008.
Gov. Dan McKee described White-Holder as “the true definition of a humanitarian and community leader.”
“This new facility … will offer a diverse group of elderly Rhode Islanders and their families with the very best social, cultural, and transformative services,” McKee said.
White-Holder said the nonprofit has helped 75 West African refugee elders and families through its Sweetie Care Day Program between 2016-2019. The new facility will help support and expand that initiative.
“This organization builds trust and fosters community by providing culturally appropriate necessities like food and clothing, educational services like ESL and financial literacy courses and more,” Reed said. “Ultimately, they provide the tools and services to help people build a better life and ensure our elders live with dignity, respect and security..”