With Cranston Street Armory closing soon, protesters demand Smiley ‘do more to shelter’ the homeless

This is a photo of the Cranston Street Armory in Providence. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — With the Cranston Street Armory closing in a few weeks, protesters will be outside Mayor Brett Smiley’s office Friday, demanding that he “do more to shelter” those who will displaced.

Housing Secretary Stefan Pryor said the Armory will stay open as a warming center through May 15.

The protesters, made up of different advocate groups, including the Rhode Island Homeless Advocacy Project and Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere, will also demand that tent encampments not be “cleared.”

They claim that while Smiley said he’d help them, he’s prioritizing the shut down of the armory.

“He has not acted decisively to replace the 150 emergency beds that will be eliminated by May 15th,” they said in a release Friday.

Protesters are calling on Smiley to provide representatives with a list of city owned buildings or other building the city can buy that can be converted into emergency shelters, have enough pallet shelters shipped to Providence, and instruct police not to arrest, ticket, or harass the homeless.

The protest is scheduled for 11 a.m. at City Hall.

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