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Governor: Commit to no tiny shelter village for homeless in Cranston now – and after – election

Photo: Sample of Pallet Shelters from Pallet Shelter company, Oregon

At last night’s Cranston City Council meeting, Councilman Matt Reilly showed a letter he has sent to Governor McKee “demanding a straight answer” about his intent to locate a tiny home homeless village on the grounds of the state’s Pastore Center, located in Cranston and served by Cranston municipal services such as police, fire and rescue.

Reilly presented this resolution to the Council, here:

In a press release explaining the resolution, Reilly “called on Governor Daniel McKee and his Housing Czar Josh Saal for their backpedaling and misrepresentations to the people of Cranston about their plans to construct a homeless village at the Pastore Center in Cranston.

Reilly explained that after the Governor’s plans to construct a homeless village at the Pastore Center were exposed last week, the Governor tried to minimize and outright deny the construction plans for McKee’s Homeless Village, yet the very next day the Governor’s Housing Czar, Josh Saal, stated that Cranston IS being considered to host the homeless village.

“The Governor …is backpedaling in a clear cover up to get past Election Day. My constituents and the people of Cranston see through this. They are sick of the games.” He continued, “Let us be clear. They are lying. The state plans to build a homeless village at the Pastore Center in Cranston. I will continue to fight this as long as I have to until the Governor and his Administration confirm publicly that they abandon all plans to construct a homeless village at the Pastore Center nor put any other additional homeless facilities, of any kind, in Cranston that endanger our residents and drain our tax dollars.”

In addition to Reilly’s Resolution calling on the Governor to abandon his plans for a Homeless Village at the Pastore Center in Cranston, it also calls on local legislators to introduce a bill that would provide
Cranston with final approval of any additions to the Pastore Center by the State.

This will be heard at a special Safety Services and Licensing Committee meeting to be held on November 3, 2022 at 6:00pm at City Hall. Reilly encouraging residents throughout Cranston to come to City Hall and speak out during public comment, “Join me in this fight. Come on November 3rd and tell the Governor enough is enough!”

The Resolution opposing the establishment of the Pallet Housing Villages at the Pastore Center specifically asks Governor Daniel McKee to publicly withdraw consideration of the Pastore General Complex as the host facility for pallet housing for the state’s homeless and urge the Administration to identify a more suitable location for such a project in another Rhode Island community.

The resolution was asked to be delivered to the Honorable Daniel McKee, Governor of Rhode Island, the members of the Cranston delegation, and to the General Assembly and the Director of the Office of Housing and Community Development.

Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins has previously stated that he believes the issue is being “paused” until after the election, and once that takes place, he will move forward with locating the Pallet Housing village at the Pastore Center.

Cranston is the location of Harrington Hall,, a shelter for 150 homeless, who have to leave the shelter during daytime hours, with no day facility to go to, leaving many in the Garden City/Chapel View/Garden Hills communities. In addition to police, fire and rescue services that are inadequately reimbursed for by the state, there have been continuing concern of registered sex offenders and child molesters in the population. There was a recent arrest at the main library just a few short weeks ago.

RINewsToday has been following this story from the time we learned about the Pallet Shelter Housing – our stories are posted below.

This is a developing story.

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  1. Rhonda Crugnale on October 25, 2022 at 8:33 pm

    Everyone deserves a roof over their head. The Pastore canter is a perfect place for the homeless. There have been state buildings closed for years, that could be used for recreation, counseling and education. I believe that no one should be homeless unless they prefer to be. It certainly should be supervised by mental health professionals. Most people who are homeless also need medical and psychiatric care. If the governor wants to build these tiny houses, he also needs to have a facility very close by for the tenants to be monitored.

  2. Nancy Green on October 25, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    It looks from this article that the immediate need is a day facility for people to go to, especially in winter. Also, RIPTA passes can help people staying in the shelter to leave Cranston for the day and connect with services like Amos House and Crossroads. Cranston had a big blow up over Harrington Hall about 15 years ago but the ACI grounds are where it is.

    • Nancy Thomas on October 25, 2022 at 4:53 pm

      Yes, Nancy – while they require people to leave the facility all day – there is no where specific for them to go – with weather issues, etc., this is a root cause of many problems regardless of what community they are in. A whole new system of care should be developed, as the number of homeless is not likely to deplete any time soon – and winter is coming. Thank you.