Making a difference
Joe Garlick, executive director of NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley in, is the recipient of this year’s $50,000 Murray Family Prize for Community Enrichment.
WOONSOCKET — The 2018 Murray Family Prize for Community Enrichment at the Rhode Island Foundation has been awarded to Joe Garlick, executive director of NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley (NWBRV) in Woonsocket.
With the honor, Garlick received $50,000 in recognition of his decades-long commitment to revitalizing urban neighborhoods and providing opportunities to improve lives. There are no restrictions on the use of the money.
“Joe’s tireless dedication to improving the community around him is an inspiring example for others to follow. Our family takes great pride in honoring him for his drive and his accomplishments,” said Paula McNamara, daughter of Terrence and Suzanne Murray, who. along with her family established the Murray Family Prize for Community Enrichment at the Foundation last year.
Garlick has been NWBRV’s executive director since 1994. During his tenure, NWBRV has developed $18 million of single family housing, $98 million of rental housing and 90,000 square feet of commercial space.
“It is truly amazing to be recognized for work you love and believe in. I consider myself lucky to be part of Rhode Island’s network of nonprofit community development corporations who work diligently to make sure our neighbors have homes they can afford in neighborhoods filled with opportunity. I’d also like to acknowledge my staff who work as hard as I do to fulfill our community mission,” said Garlick.
“Affordable housing improves lives and contributes to our economy in many ways. There is nothing like the power of a good home in a thriving neighborhood. It has a tremendous impact, improving health, academic achievement and job prospects,” he said.
Among the projects Garlick has led are the creation of more than 100 affordable apartments in the Constitution Hill neighborhood of Woonsocket, the construction of 80 affordable apartments for seniors at The Meadows in North Smithfield and the conversion of the former Stillwater Mill in Burrillville into 47 affordable rental units at Clocktower Apartments in Burrillville.
“It is important to applaud the contributions of Rhode Islanders like Joe, who are working quietly and humbly in service of others,” said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “We are grateful to the Murray family for working with us to honor the remarkable leaders whose work makes lives better.”
This is just the second time the Murray Family Prize has been awarded. The inaugural award was presented to UCAP School founder Rob DeBlois last year in recognition of his decades-long commitment to educating low-income, urban and predominately immigrant students with a history of school failure.
The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $38 million and awarded $43 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities in 2017. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.
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Joe Garlick, executive director of NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley in Woonsocket, is the recipient of this year’s $50,000 Murray Family Prize for Community Enrichment at the Rhode Island Foundation. Garlick (third from the left) meets with Murray family members, from left, Paula McNamara, Suzanne Murray, Terry Murray, Megan Craigen and Terry Murray Jr., following the award ceremony. Garlick’s work includes creating hundreds of affordable houses and apartments in Burrillville, North Smithfield and Woonsocket