A man pushing a cart full of christmas decorations in front of a building.

RI National Guard activated by Governor McKee to ready Cranston Street Armory for homeless

Governor McKee Activates National Guard to Provide Temporary Operational Support for Cranston Street Armory Warming Station

National Guard will work with support from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals to provide temporary support for unhoused Rhode Islanders.

Governor Dan McKee has authorized Major General Christopher Callahan to order up to 50 Rhode Island National Guard (RING) members to temporarily assist with the operation of the Cranston Street Armory Warming Station for Rhode Islanders experiencing homelessness. RING will work with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals (BHDDH).

Governor McKee’s letter to Major General Christopher Callahan:

Since the plan for the Cranston Street Armory Warming Station was announced, teams from the State’s Department of Administration, Emergency Management Agency, Department of Housing, and RING have been working diligently to get the facilities up and running. This includes delivering cots, blankets, water, and portable bathroom facilities.

The warming station will begin operations on Friday, December 16.

“The Administration is continuing to do the work to connect unhoused Rhode Islanders, whether they are encamped at the State House or living elsewhere, with a warm place to stay as quickly as possible,” said Governor Dan McKee.

The Cranston Street Armory Warming Station is just one of many actions the McKee Administration is taking to comprehensively respond to the shortage of housing, and the corresponding pressure it has created on our shelter system and homelessness support system.

This includes:

  • Directing an additional $1.4M to bring the statewide shelter bed capacity to more than 1,000 funded beds.
  • Making $166M in funding available to support affordable housing efforts across the state.
  • Directing $9.5 million in federal funds to expand legal services to support low-income households facing housing insecurity. These funds can be used to connect individuals with services like eviction prevention and eviction diversion, mediation between landlords and tenants; case management related to housing stability; housing counseling and fair housing counseling.


This action follows a court hearing this morning where the judge pushed off the eviction notice to the homeless encampment at the RI State House until Monday, with another hearing set for Friday.

(story to follow on that ruling)

This is a developing story

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