Issues with homeless persist in neighborhood around Cranston Street Armory

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — We’ve heard from viewers about the housing efforts that are underway most notably the Cranston Street Armory in Providence. And with time running out before the armory stops being used as an emergency warming shelter, some neighbors think there should be a better way to provide quality shelter.

First opened in December, the armory has provided housing to about 50 homeless people a day throughout the winter, while sometimes expanding its capacity on extremely cold nights or ahead of storms.

But the armory has also proven to be a burden to those living around it, said Timothy Tiemeyer, with dozens of homeless people around the neighborhood.

“[There’s] human feces, vomit, needles,” Tiemeyer said. “You know, we walk our dogs; our kids go to Classical [High School]. So, they have to walk through that, and some of the guys harass the girls, I have two daughters, so they harass them. And they’ll call us to take the attention away from them.”

While inside the armory’s walls, there is no drug or alcohol use allowed but throughout the day, Tiemeyer said many of the people staying there leave the armory and walk around the neighborhood.

“So, what will happen is they move into the neighborhood or yards, and they’ll actually do drugs on front porches, we’ll see people squatting on the neighbor’s front porch. And it just creates a lot of issues,” he said.

With the armory set to stop operating as a warning center by the end of April, the question now lies ahead, what will happen to the dozens of people who have stayed there over the past few months?

ABC 6 News reached out to Amos House, which operates the armory, on what’s next for these people and if there will be other housing options made available, but have yet to hear back.

“We want to see a more proactive stance. Compassion is good but you need a plan. You have a house you have a budget. You can’t just let everyone in and serve them. So, I just want to see a more methodical approach to the way they’re managing this,” Tiemeyer said.

Categories: News