April 7, 2021
Siria Ana Rivera – Executive Director, Providence Center
Providence Center is a sponsored ministry of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus.
Providence Center received special recognition in February from the Census Bureau for its collaborative work with Philly Counts.
Philly Counts is a city-wide imitative to heighten awareness regarding the importance of proper representation for communities of color in the 2020 Census. This year census work was significantly more difficult than in previous decades. Clearly, the current pandemic imposed yet another challenge on those very communities who do not need one more issue to juggle in already complex lives, even without COVID.
Admittedly, the deadline for completion of the Census survey was pushed back several times in efforts to make up for the difficulties in engaging community members within the new social distancing norms. Unfortunately, this extension could not address the technology divide present in underserved communities such as Fairhill, where Providence Center is located. Many in the community were without any access to the online survey. Additionally, severe delays and/or other realities in USPS deliveries caused many of the hard-copy surveys to be lost or never delivered. Amazingly, even with these barriers Providence Center’s staff and Youth Advocates were able to reach out to over 3,000 individuals in the Fairhill region via phone banking and no-contact canvassing. Our PC community also set up no-contact sign-up tables, outfitted with the necessary technology, for those who needed assistance completing the census form online. Without a doubt, and proudly so, Providence Center is a living testament to the Society’s 175th Anniversary “tagline” – Love & Serve!