In 1970, West Elmwood Housing was an organization that provided homeownership opportunities in the West Elmwood neighborhood. In 1980, the West End Foundation, a small resident-led community organization run by volunteers was working together in the West End to address vacant lots and abandoned properties. In a time with overwhelming disinvestment, residents came together to invest in their community and those who lived and worked in it. Residents organized to create a Neighborhood Crime Watch, advocated for trash pickups and resources for residents to become homeowners.  At the end of the 1980’s these two organizations came together to become the West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation (WEHDC) we know today.

In just 50 years, WEHDC has become a dynamic 501c(3) nonprofit organization with the mission of promoting the development of healthy, sustainable communities through housing services to help individuals and neighborhoods meet their affordable housing needs in the West End neighborhood and other parts of Providence and Rhode Island.

That’s why we are celebrating 50 years of building. 

This 50th Anniversary celebration isn’t just about noting the accomplishments of WEHDC, it’s a time to recognize the residents, partners, and stakeholders who have worked to create a vibrant West End community with opportunity and access for all.
I also hope you’ll support WEHDC by helping us reach our fundraising goal of $100,000 by our official 50th birthday, July 15 2020
Click here for tickets and sponsorship opportunities

Joe Cardoza Unsung Hero Award

If you attended community meetings in the West End in the early 1980’s, you’ll remember hearing the deep voice of Joe Cardoza- a man who would take the time to listen to what was really going on and always ask the right question, the one that no one wanted to ask but the one that would get the answers that were needed. 

Joe Cardoza passed away in 1986  but West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation continued to honor his legacy through the creation of the Joe Cardoza Unsung Hero Award in 1990. From 1990 until 2005, this award recognized West End residents who mirrored Joe Cardoza’s unwavering commitment to community. The award would honor a member of the community  for doing things that others would not do, could not do or did not find time to do to make the West End a better neighborhood, as Joe Cardoza did for many years.  

Recognizing that West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation wouldn’t be the comprehensive agency it is today without the support of residents, we are bringing back the Joe Cardoza Unsung Hero Award as part of our 50th anniversary celebration. This time, the nominees for this award will be determined by the members of the community, by you. We encourage you to think about who has been a constant advocate for the West End, who exemplifies the legacy of Joe Cardoza. 


Thank you to our 50th Anniversary Host Committee 

U.S. Senator Jack Reed
U.S. Congressman David Cicilline
RI Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea
City of Providence Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris
City of Providence Councilwoman Sabina Matos
City of Providence Councilman Jim Taylor

Angela Bannerman Ankoma, United Way of RI
Brenda Clement, HousingWorksRI
Anthony Hubbard, YouthBuild
John Sinott, Gilbaine
Scott Wolf, GrowSmart RI
Chanda Womack, ARISE