Who We Are
The face of poverty in Rhode Island is not as you might imagine. It includes two-income working families, seniors, single parents and individuals, men and women who have lost their jobs, those who cannot work because of illness or disabilities, and people who can only find minimum wage work because of the economy a lack of secondary education and job training skills. As of July 2015 the state’s unemployment rate had decreased to 5.8%. Despite declines in unemployment Rhode Island continues to have large gaps in unemployment rates by race and ethnicity. Given the decrease in unemployment rates, Rhode Island’s underemployed rate and percentage of low-wage jobs remains high. It is estimated that in Rhode Island almost 18.5% of the population and 20% of children live at or below the poverty level.
The Rhode Island Community Action Association (RICAA) is a trade association for a statewide network of Community Action Agencies (CAAs) who, for over fifty years, have been the safety net for economically disadvantaged and working individuals and families. Independently and collectively the CAAs are working to eliminate the causes and effects of poverty and to open doors to self-sufficiency and better lives for more than 200,000 Rhode Island households annually.
We are committed to empowering individuals and families to help themselves, as we have for over fifty years of fighting the war on poverty. Rhode Island’s Community Action Agencies' programs and services consist of more than 800,000 services provided annually. A network of CAA Agencies we have a proven capacity to address community needs with dedication and creativity. We understand the root causes of poverty, and continue to be steadfast in our commitment to helping people and changing lives in all of Rhode Island's communities.