Healed Communities Look like Hope

Healed Communities Look Like Hope

The St. Joseph Community Partnership Fund (Fund), the grantmaking foundation of Providence, has invested in communities for over 35 years. Our first successful partnership in disaster relief decades ago formed our roots in the legacy of our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. The Sisters have a deeply ingrained commitment to care for our dear neighbors without distinction, especially those furthest from justice – a legacy we carry on today.


The needs of communities and individuals changed over the years. So, the Fund shifted its focus areas while staying true to the original ethos. As we’ve dug into the partnerships and explored our focus areas, we’ve uncovered a common and compelling thread. And that connection is how deeply ingrained healing and resilience are in each focus area.


As grant makers, it’s easy to be complacent and overlook the trauma of the communities or individuals and the need to heal. On the surface, it looks like there is good happening because of the services provided. Still, without acknowledging how deep-rooted the communities’ issues may go, the hurt will most often be masked or buried, and will grow for generations. We must recognize the need to heal and provide capacity for our community leaders to address collective trauma in their initiatives, not just as a component but as a center, to create sustainable wellness.

Healing is Possible

At the Fund, we are dedicated to building communities that are whole, more healed, and more able to flourish, hope, love, and grow. Amy Huang, Program Officer for the Fund, describes healing as “when you understand where the trauma comes from, and have the courage and the safety to call it out. That is a barrier for many individuals, so when you find ways to move forward from there, that is healing.”


Jason Lacsamana, Director, Programs and Partnerships, believes that a healed individual is “one who is not hindered by the past. The trauma is recognized but doesn’t hold someone, or a group of people, back from their potential. It also doesn’t keep them from having hope for the future. You can give someone everything they need to achieve a goal, but without healing their underlying trauma, they may be unable. When we talk about ‘privilege,’ in essence, that’s what privilege is, to be completely unhindered.”


Moving forward together as a family, community, and as individuals towards a better future is how Gabriela Robles, Chief Executive, views healed communities. She believes “that with hope, vision, and power, they can still find and create healing despite whatever distress they may have experienced.”


The Fund’s leaders approach community healing differently based on their lived experiences, but one thing is true for each. They all believe that healing is possible with hope and love.


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