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Homeless in RI: State funds $10 Million to 27 providers for shelter, services as cold weather looms

Wednesday morning, Rhode Island Housing announced new grants that have been made to address the homeless issue in the state – their announcement:

Rhode Island Department of Housing Announces $10 Million in Awards to Prevent and Respond to Homelessness

First round of determinations of funding for the FY24 Consolidated Homeless Fund have been issued to 27 service providers throughout the state for shelter and other operations.

The Department of Housing today is issuing $10 million in funding to 27 organizations for 66 projects to provide emergency shelter, street outreach operations, housing problem solving, supportive services, and rent assistance through rapid rehousing. Importantly, the deployment of these resources will reach Rhode Islanders experiencing homelessness across the state and will provide the support many people need to obtain permanent housing.

The funding provided through the Consolidated Homeless Fund (CHF) will allow Rhode Island to maintain its overall bed capacity for shelter, which already reflects a significant increase in beds compared to this time last year. Many of the funding awards include much-needed increases after years of flat funding. In some cases, funding will assist with shelter projects that have plans to transition to permanent supportive housing in the future, such as the Pine Street shelter operated by Crossroads RI.

“As the winter approaches, we are significantly increasing our commitment to programs addressing homelessness in Rhode Island – including the expansion of funding for shelters and services throughout the state,” said Secretary of Housing Stefan Pryor. “We are fortunate that so many strong partners have brought forward such strong proposals. The applicants did well to consider the five new principles for project funding that guided our decisions. Specifically, that we are aiming our resources at reducing unsheltered homelessness, emphasizing permanent housing solutions, offering client-centered approaches, pursuing cost effectiveness, and enabling data sharing and data-based decision making.”

These awards will continue to position the Department of Housing, as it grows to partner with service providers on strengthening their outcomes, to better ensure investments are achieving maximum impact. Contracts with service providers this year will include an increased emphasis on measuring success regarding placements into permanent housing or shelter, helping people access employment and benefits, and recording data in a timely manner. This CHF funding may be used to operate existing emergency shelters, establish new shelter locations, provide case management services, pay rent through rapid rehousing programs, or pursue other related projects. 

Today’s announcement is a component of a broader plan to address homelessness and offer shelter services ahead of the upcoming winter season. A media briefing on the McKee Administration’s winter plan will occur within the next two weeks with additional details to come. 

This is the first round of decisions through CHF, focused almost entirely on project renewals and existing project expansions; decisions regarding new projects and those submitted under a later deadline will be shared soon. Several of the awards announced today are anticipated to be jointly funded along with other CHF partners.

The 66 funding awards for today include the following:

Emergency Shelter:

  • Full year contracts are being awarded to Westerly Area Warm Meals (WARM), Westbay Community Action, Inc., Washington Square Services Corporation, Sojourner House, Lucy’s Hearth, House of Hope CDC, Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center, Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County, Crossroads RI, Community Care Alliance (CCA), Child and Family, Catholic Social Services of Rhode Island/Diocese of Providence, Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, and Amos House for the operations of emergency shelters.

Rapid Rehousing and Housing Navigation:

  • Full year contracts are being awarded for the provision of housing navigation services and rent support through rapid rehousing programs. Recipients of these funds are WARM, Thrive Behavioral Health, Sojourner House, Pawtucket Housing Authority, Foster Forward, Crossroads RI, and Amos House.

Supportive Services:

  • CHF is funding service providers beyond beds and housing, including also supportive services. Full year contracts for supportive services are awarded to Turning Around Ministries, Foster Forward, Crossroads RI, Better Lives Rhode Island, and Amos House. Other supportive services awards go only to the end of 2023 pending further conversations of systems level service structure.

Street Outreach:

  • A combination of new and existing outreach service providers are being funded for six months through the upcoming winter. Street outreach funding will be provided to WARM, Thrive Behavioral Health, Newport Mental Health, House of Hope CDC, East Bay Community Action Program, CCA, Better Lives Rhode Island, Crossroads RI, and Amos House.

Homelessness Prevention, Problem Solving, and Systems Coordination:

  • Housing problem solving services are given two-month extensions of previous contracts as statewide coordination and program parameters are refined. Organizations funded for housing problem solving include Tri-County Community Action Agency, Thrive Behavioral Health, Sojourner House, Family Service of Rhode Island, and Amos House. Other proposals for systems management projects are being offered flat-funding on short-term extensions for two months to allow for further dialogue regarding next steps including important community collaborations. These extensions include Rhode Island Coalition to End Homelessness, Housing Network of Rhode Island, Crossroads RI, and Amos House.

This is a developing story

Fall began on September 23rd, 4 days ago

Winter begins December 21st, 85 days from today

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  1. Lesley Maxwell on September 28, 2023 at 8:51 pm

    As does Ms. DeRosa, I, too, have the same question. Some of us haven’t forgotten that. I see bulldozers and traffic cones on what is now vacant land on Pontiac Ave. One of the old buildings still remains.
    It’s impossible to get any information until the deal is done in R.I.

  2. Steve Maciel on September 27, 2023 at 4:18 pm

    Great news! Let’s get a grip on this important issue.

  3. Robert Williams on September 27, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    Rhode Island taxpayers should ask: How much per homeless person is $10 million? Are undocumented persons going to get free housing under these programs?

    • Pauline DeRosa, Founder Garden City Alliance on September 28, 2023 at 11:42 am

      Mr. Williams, great questions!
      I would add another question: Is ‘Pallet Housing’ to be found anywhere within this $10M figure? A subject that has been literally swept under the rug.

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