The Rhode Island Center for Justice is grateful for a 2020 BlueAngel Community Health Grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) to prevent homelessness and the serious negative health impacts of housing insecurity for Rhode Islanders. The BlueAngel Grant supports our work to help Rhode Islanders remain stably housed and keep prevent utility disruption, a leading cause of housing insecurity.
When we launched this partnership with Blue Angel in early 2020, we could never have known how this work would be more crucial than ever, as this year has left even more residents without options to pay their rent. The BCBSRI Life Index has demonstrated that when it comes to health outcomes, “ZIP code is more important than genetic code.” The BlueAngel 2020 focus on housing also drives home the truth that Housing IS Health! This has never been more apparent than during the coronavirus pandemic; while at all times housing means shelter and security, in 2020 safe homes afford Rhode Islanders the potentially life-saving ability to maintain social distance, shelter in place, and protect their families and themselves. Indeed, the CDC found this year that those who are evicted from their homes face higher risk of sickness and death during the pandemic than those who are able to shelter in place at home.
The BlueAngel Community Health Grant Program invests in community well-being and aims to improve health and quality of life across Rhode Island. Its investments include meeting basic needs, not just medical interventions. This year’s focus on safe, stable, quality, affordable housing aligns directly with our work at the Center for Justice, and we are tremendously honored to be able to support more Rhode Islanders facing housing and utility insecurity, and potential health consequences, with the support of the BlueAngel Community Health Grant.
BCBSRI’s support for our Healthy Homes Project has allowed the Center for Justice to continue protecting Rhode Islanders from eviction and to intensify our efforts during a community crisis. We have made direct outreach to thousands of Rhode Islanders to provide them with crucially important information about eviction and utility shutoff moratoriums and how to best protect themselves and their families. We have provided direct assistance and representation to hundreds of Rhode Islanders who are facing eviction and need help navigating the court process.
CFJ thanks BCBSRI for its generosity in the BlueAngel Community Health Grant Program, and for making it possible to keep more Rhode Islanders safe in their homes this year.