Social Services


Social Services policies and procedures are modified for the safety of clients and staff.

Please click here for the most current Social Services information.

The following information is for reference purposes.

Getting help is easy.


1. Bring photo ID, proof of residency, and proof of dependents


2. Fill out paperwork and meet with case manager


3. Receive services and referral

For more detailed Services information, please click on the tabs below.


When can I come?


Mondays 12 – 3
Tuesdays 9 – 12
Wednesdays 9 – 12
Thursdays 9 – 12
Fridays 9 – 12
Phone Number:  (401) 377-8069, option 1.



Am I eligible for services?


In order to be eligible for services at the Jonnycake Center you must be a resident of either Westerly, Charlestown, Richmond or Hopkinton, Rhode Island. A copy of your lease or utility bill must be provided to prove residence.



What else do I need to bring with me?


Please bring with you a current, state-issued photo ID or passport. Military Ids, prison Ids, temporary Ids, and birth certificates will also be accepted in lieu of a state photo-ID.



Is there an income limit to receive services?


The Jonnycake Center considers many factors when determining eligibility for the services it provides. Each family situation is unique and many factors are considered. We do ask that clients provide proof of income.


Folks already receiving SNAP (food stamps) benefits need only provide their DHS award letter. If you are not receiving SNAP, please provide current pay stubs; Social Security award letters; unemployment, TDI, Workmen’s Compensation benefit statements; proof of child support payments; etc. You can call our Social Services Office for more details.



Eligible clients are able to shop in the store with a voucher for clothing every three months, and household items and furniture once every six months.  Please see the Social Services Department staff for voucher forms.


In cases of extreme financial crisis, financial assistance is available to clients unable to meet the expenses of basic needs, such as heat, housing, utilities, and education. Priority is given to households that contain minor children, elderly or disabled adults, or veterans.


What kind of financial assistance is available?


Financial aid is available for housing, utilities, heat, prescription assistance, and education.



What do I need to bring with me?


Please bring your most recent bill with you.  If you are applying for assistance with rent, you will be asked to have your landlord complete a Landlord Form verifying how much money is owed. Forms are available in the Social Services Department.



How long does it take to apply?


Clients applying for financial assistance can expect to update their financial information and have a sit-down interview with the Case Coordinator which will last about twenty minutes.  Financial applications are reviewed on a weekly basis by the Financial Assistance Committee which is comprised of the Board of Directors and Senior Staff.



How will I know if my application was approved?


You will be notified in about a week that your application was approved, denied, or pending and will be considered the following week.  Unfortunately, the Center receives far more requests than we can fulfill.  Priority is given to applications from households that contain a minor child, disabled or elderly adults or veterans.



What kinds of bills will not be considered for financial assistance?


The Center will not consider requests for payment of cable/satellite, cell phone, and internet bills as these services are not consider essential basic needs.



Will you consider helping with a mortgage payment?


Yes, we will consider financial aid for a mortgage payment.



For assistance with SNAP, please contact Jonnycake Social Services. Call (401) 377-8069, Option 1, or email Sarah Cote, Social Services Program Director, at

SPLASH Program

The Summer Program Looking to Alleviate Student Hunger (SPLASH) runs during the summer months and over school vacations in order to ensure that students who receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch at school do not miss those meals when they are home.  Eligible families living in Westerly, Hopkinton, Charlestown or Richmond are encouraged to sign up through the Jonnycake Center Social Services Department.  Groceries are available for pick-up the week prior to vacations, or weekly during the summer.

Domestic Violence Advocacy Program

Domestic violence does not discriminate between economic class, age, gender, or race and is affecting many of our neighbors right here in Westerly. The Jonnycake Center is here to provide advocacy and empowerment to victims through our Domestic Violence Advocacy Program. Every Monday from 12pm-3pm and Wednesday from 9am to 12pm we will have an advocate from the Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County here to provide confidential, face-to-face advisement in safety and financial planning, court processes and advocacy, barriers and solutions to leaving, and understanding what makes a healthy relationship. Know you are not alone!


For more information on this program, call our Social Service Agency at 401-377-8069 ext. 101 or come in person Wednesdays from 9am to 12pm. If you need immediate assistance call the statewide domestic violence hotline at 1-800-494-8100. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.


Read The Westerly Sun’s article about our program to learn more about addressing domestic violence.

Thanksgiving Dinner Basket

Current clients can sign up for a Thanksgiving meal basket which includes a turkey and all the trimmings for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  The baskets are distributed on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Christmas Dinner Basket

Current clients can sign up for a Christmas meal basket which includes a turkey and all the trimmings for a traditional Christmas dinner.  Distribution of the meal baskets begins in mid-December.

Adopt-a-Family Holiday Presents for Children

The Adopt-a-Family Program provides Christmas presents for children who otherwise might not have a present to open on Christmas morning.  Existing clients may sign up for the program in the fall and will be matched with a donor “adopting” their family for the holidays.  The client is assigned a number which will identify the household.  Neither the adopter nor the adopted will know the names of each other.  Traditionally this program provides Christmas presents for over 350 local children in need of holiday cheer.

To register as a family in need of gifts, please contact Jonnycake Social Services. Call (401) 377-8069 and select Option 1 or email

To sign up as a donor who can help with gifts, call Lee Eastbourne, Jonnycake Executive Director, at (401) 377-8069, x106, or email

Annual Coat Drive for Children

Every fall, winter coats, hats and mittens are distributed to children in need. If you would like to help or you know of a child who needs warm clothes for the winter, please contact the Social Services Department at 401.377.8069 ext. 101.


Experiencing challenging obstacles? Need help carving a path to betterment? We can help with our Fresh Start Program! Our Case Manager will provide you with support and guidance to help you identify personal goals tailored to meet your needs, and help you achieve significant life changes!


Call Ashley Thomas at (401) 377-8069 #117 or email her at  to learn more and enroll today.




Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless has an excellent “street sheet” showing resources in Southern Rhode Island and Newport.  English version       Spanish version



Want to learn more about hunger and how to help?  The Rhode Island Community Food Bank has some excellent resources and information:



For more about resources in Washington County:
Basic Needs Network Resources in Washington County (Page 1)
Basic Needs Network Resource Guide (Page 2)