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By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – The Providence Center, Rhode Island’s largest behavioral health and recovery provider, has joined forces A New Leaf, a Providence florist with the mission of employing and training adults with psychiatric disabilities in a supportive work environment.
Both agencies are dedicated to assisting individuals afflicted with mental illness achieve long-term self-reliance. By uniting, the agencies will greatly expand job training and employment opportunities for Rhode Islanders with behavioral health problems.
A New Leaf joins ProMail, a full-service direct mail house located in Providence, as social enterprise ventures of The Providence Center. Together, these two businesses will provide more than 20 Providence Center clients with job training opportunities in a supported employment environment.
“The Providence Center’s union with A New Leaf builds on our commitment to providing our clients with the tools they need to live productive, healthy lives,” said Dale K. Klatzker, president and CEO of The Providence Center. “Many people with behavioral health problems are extraordinarily talented and just need support as they take that first step back into the workforce.”
Over its 30-year history, A New Leaf has hired and trained more than 800 people with behavioral-health problems in the florist business with the goal of providing employees a supportive environment as they transition back into the workplace,
“Job training in a supported environment gives people who have lost their confidence and haven't worked in years because of disabilities not only the skills to succeed, but also the confidence to improve their lives,” said Christine F. Brown, board chair at A New Leaf.