Empowering People for over 125 Years!
Community Care Alliance (with legacy organizations) has over 120 years of experience working to strengthen families, individuals and the community. The agency has grown from providing children’s daycare for parents working in mills in the 1890s, to the present day, offering over 50 programs and services to 14,000 people living in Rhode Island.
On July 1, 2014, Community Care Alliance was formed through the merger of Family Resources Community Action (FRCA) and NRI Community Services (NRICS). The two Woonsocket-based nonprofits united to create a comprehensive human service agency— one of only a few mergers in the nation of a community action agency, community mental health center and family services agency. Both legacy organizations had built a foundation based on positive social change for vulnerable populations and responses to critical community needs.
Founded in 1891 as the Woonsocket Day Nursery, and known as Woonsocket Child and Family Services throughout much of the 20th century, and Family Resources by 1976, FRCA originally addressed the need for day care to families who needed to work in the city’s mills. In 1997, Family Resources began an affiliation with the Woonsocket Shelter Community Action Program, expanding the reach of the organization to serve the homeless, assist low-income persons with basic needs, and in partnership with local businesses, improve their economic opportunities through employment and training programs. Three years later, the affiliation between these two organizations resulted in a merger that created Family Resources Community Action. In 2002, the Agape Center, a small HIV/AIDS support organization, merged with FRCA. The integration of programs and services created seamless access to support for a multiplicity of needs.
Founded in 1966, NRICS answered the needs of deinstitutionalized persons with mental illness that resulted from mid-century legislation and public policy. During the first 15 years, NRICS was a small community mental health clinic that operated in office settings providing mental health services for those least able to pay. Then in 1981, reflective of new trends in effective mental health service delivery, home and community-based services became the standard, with programs focusing on the clients’ goals rather than their ailments. NRICS formed a housing development subsidiary, Blackstone Valley Mental Health Realty; initiated a job placement program; and started an alternative school, Viola M. Berard School.
Cooperative relationships helped to foster a culture of community collaboration and minimize non-productive competition. In 1991, Rhode Island received federal funding for the Children and Adolescent Service System Program (CASSP). Over time, CASSP evolved into the Family Care Community Partnership (FCCP) in which NRICS and FRCA shared leadership and ownership to preserve at-risk families, many with serious behavioral health issues. In late 2010, FRCA reached out to NRICS, in their role as the local community mental health center, to run the agency’s outpatient services. The resultant service agreement led to more opportunities for shared work in the areas of clinical supervision, case finding, service connection, foster care and shelter.
The crossover in clients and service needs presented FRCA and NRICS with a stable platform on which to build a partnership, which was legally formalized in 2010, resulting in the merger that created Community Care Alliance in 2014. Today Community Care Alliance creates a stronger safety net and seamless service delivery system for clients, and simultaneously improves efficiency and effectiveness through a multiplicity of staff talent and resources.