News & Event
In January of 2014, she began working with a Case Manager. Over the course of several months and with the persistent and compassionate effort of our staff, Mirabelle was able to trust the Crossroads team to help her find housing.
When an opening in one of Crossroads' housing units became available, Mirabelle was ready to end her homelessness and move in. With the support of our generous funders, we were able to stock Mirabelle's apartment with basic furniture and supplies for cooking and cleaning.
Mirabelle moved into her apartment last week, and with the stability of her own roof over her head she will now start to work on obtaining an income source. Without our services, the dedication of our staff, and the support of our donors, she would not have had this opportunity to rebuild her life at the age of 60.
Namaste Rhode Island, a collaborative of yoga studios, teachers, and students, hosted the Yoga Ball, a first-of-its-kind event which brought the yoga community of Rhode Island together for an evening celebrating life, love and practice. Proceeds from this event benefited the Women’s Shelter at Crossroads Rhode Island.
The evening began with a collective flow practice with Debbie Valois and Bryna René. It was followed by cocktail hour, a silent auction, dinner and a Bollywood-themed ball! This special event took place on November 11, 2011 at the Westin in Providence.
Thank you to Namaste Rhode Island and all those who participated to support this special event!
One of the many difficulties of homelessness in Rhode Island and throughout the country is the struggle that families often face to stay together. It is not uncommon that parents and children have to be due to shelter rules about gender or age differences, or a simple lack of space to accommodate an entire family together.
Kevin* came to us a year ago, in March of 2016. His family had struggled with homelessness for over two years. Kevin and his wife had gone from full-time employment to part-time employment to no employment. Towards the end of this chapter in their life, it took all of the fortitude and strength the two parents had to feed and protect their three children while keeping them healthy and together. Family was, and still is the most important thing to them, and staying together was all that mattered.
Kevin made the decision to move his family to Rhode Island even though they did not have a permanent place to stay. They had friends and family in the area, and while they could not fully rely on these relationships to support them, it was a smart and conscious decision to move to Providence.
When asked about the decision to move, Kevin said that it made sense for his children, so that they could be safe and get an education while he worked tirelessly to find employment and a home for all of them.
Luckily for Kevin and his family, he was referred to our housing department, and we were immediately able to place them in one of our two family shelters, where they could stay together.
As soon as they arrived at the family shelter, life began turning around for Kevin, his wife, and his children. Crossroads was able to find housing for the family, and within a week of moving in, Kevin found part-time work as a dishwasher.
The best part about the job was the security and the permanence that came along with it. Kevin’s job began midday and went long into the night, but he persevered and even went a step further.
In the mornings, after Kevin and his wife got their children off to school, Kevin would come to Crossroads, where he entered and completed the Janitorial Training Program.
Kevin spent his mornings educating himself and his afternoons and nights working. This hard work soon paid off in the form of a job opportunity at a hotel in Warwick.
In March 2016, the family was struggling to stay together and keep their family whole. By July 2016, Kevin was fully employed as a second shift janitor at the hotel and his family will be able to permanently and securely stay together through the housing opportunity afforded them by Crossroads and our generous donors.
Kevin isn’t the only one perusing a career with the help of Crossroads’ Education and Employment Services department; his wife just started attending our CNA Training classes! Their story is one of perseverance, success, and family.
While Kevin and his family have just begun the road to a new chapter in their life, there are always more families who need our help to end their homelessness. The work we do is possible only with the support of our caring friends and neighbors who wish to lend a hand up to people like Kevin.
*Name changed to protect privacy.
As the weather began to turn cold in Rhode Island last November, Natalya found herself without a home. As a single woman with grown children, she came to Crossroads and was placed in our Women’s Shelter, which has space for up to 41 single women in need of emergency shelter.
While working with her case manager to find secure stable housing, Natalya enrolled in our Janitorial Training Program, which provides students with the skills, certifications, and experience that they need to become qualified candidates for employment in the janitorial field.
In addition to this training, Natalya started going to our Learning Center to prepare to get her GED. Although Natalya was educated at a university level in her home country of Russia, her lack of formal education in the United States has made it difficult for her to find gainful employment here.
Natalya studied for and passed practice online GED exams, which cost $6.00 per exam. Crossroads covered the cost of these exams. Official GED exams cost $30.00 per exam, but free vouchers are given out when a student is graded as “likely to pass” by scoring highly on the online practice tests. Natalya met those requirements and was able to take her official GED exams at no cost.
In February, she passed her official GED Math exam. In April, she passed her official GED Science exam. In order to complete her GED, Natalya still needs to take the Language Arts/Writing and Social Studies exams.
Last month, Natalya spent 42 hours in the Learning Center preparing for those exams. Her instructor described her as a very hard worker.
Recently, Natalya moved out of our Women’s Shelter and into her own room in our Housing Tower. In addition to ending her homelessness and furthering her education, she is expecting a grandchild at the end of this summer!
The training that Natalya has received from our Education and Employment Services department is made possible by our generous donors and dedicated corporate partners, including Bank of America Foundation, BJ's, Citizens Bank Foundation, Rhode Island Foundation, Amgen Foundation, and Walmart Foundation.
On September 15, 2017, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI (BCBSRI) employees gathered at 11 non-profit organizations and community groups across the state for their annual Blue Across RI day of service.
More than 40 volunteers joined us here at Crossroads, where they gave the rooms in our Women’s Shelter a fresh coat of paint. Their efforts made our shelter a more comfortable place for the women who stay with us while they work with our staff to find safe and permanent housing.
“It’s a feeling that you’re giving back and you’re helping, and it’s actually hands-on,” said one BCBSRI employee.
Our Women’s Shelter offers accessible, semi-private accommodations for up to 41 women, with a safe space to store their belongings, a common room, showers, and access to our professionally trained staff and a range of programs and services.
Some volunteers also helped out in our kitchen preparing dinner for our clients, while others cleaned up and organized our donation storage areas.
We are thankful for the valuable help that the BCBSRI volunteers provided and proud to be a part of this annual event, one of the largest corporate days of service in Rhode Island.
Yaritza and her five children became homeless in 2014 when she developed an allergy that left her unable to work in the culinary industry that had been her passion as well as her source of employment for many years.
With nowhere else to turn for help, Yaritza and her family entered Crossroads Rhode Island’s Family Center.
“The shelter is big, and it’s not easy living with different personalities,” said Yaritza of her time in shelter. “But the experience at the Family Center was worth it.”
After only one month and one day at the shelter, Yaritza and her children were able to move into Employment Based Interim Housing, a transitional housing program where Employment Services are integrated into a Housing First model.
Yaritza found a job working as a Medical Assistant for a local clinic. She has completed both Medical Assistant and Certified Nursing Assistant training.
In December of 2014, she found a new job at a local clinic and is now a Health Center Assistant. In June 2015, Yaritza and her family moved out of transitional housing and into permanent housing.
Her five children are doing very well in school, and are now living stress-free, Yaritza says. Her oldest child will be graduating from high school this year.
“I have to say, any advice that was given to me by [Crossroads staff] I took it to heart and I did what I had to do,” Yaritza said. "Whether it was paperwork that needed to be filled out by staff or myself, as well as advice given to me to move forward. I took every piece of information, embraced it, and started to work toward my goals. I'm blessed that they came across my path because without their guidance I would not have made it."
Crossroads Rhode Island would not be able to offer innovative programs that integrate employment and housing support without the generous financial investments of individual and corporate funders, including the Walmart Foundation, the Rhode Island Foundation, the Bank of America Foundation, the Citizens Bank Foundation, and the Amgen Foundation.
Be sure to visit the Alex and Ani on Wednesday April 10, 2013 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Enjoy Lite Bites and Energy Punch as you shop in Alex and Ani's East Greenwich location at 232 Main St. East Greenwich, RI. 15% of all sales will go directly to the Women's Shelter and other programs for women at Crossroads Rhode Island.
To RSVP please e-mail Pat Campellone
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