Crossroads opens “emergency homeless shelter” in Providence

PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE) – Crossroads of Rhode Island announced Tuesday that they’re opening a temporary emergency homeless shelter for the winter.

This comes as Crossroads and health experts are anticipating an increased need for socially-distanced emergency shelters as winter approaches.

The temporary shelter will be able to provide shelter for up to 30 occupants.

People experiencing homelessness are more likely to contract and suffer severe complications from COVID-19, according to studies.

“How are you supposed to ‘stay home and stay safe’ when you are homeless?” asked Karen Santilli, President, and CEO of Crossroads.

In order to provide safe, socially-distanced shelter space, shelters have had to reduce the number of beds available, a spokesman for Crossroads says.

“Opening this temporary shelter allows us to increase the number of beds available for Rhode Island’s homeless population right as we are heading into winter when the prospect of spending a night without a roof over one’s head becomes even more harrowing,” continued Santilli.

The temporary shelter is located at 371 Pine St. in Providence, in a former YMCA building which has been empty since 2018, according to the spokesman.

Crossroads began renovating the building earlier this year with COVID Relief Funds awarded through Rhode Island Housing.

Crossroads expects the shelter beds to be filled immediately with men and women who are currently living outdoors or in unsafe places.

Crossroads plans to develop the property into permanent, supportive housing, once the need for the emergency shelter decreases.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Providence, Rhode Island