News & Event
As we welcome 2017, I thank you for all you have done to help Crossroads Rhode Island fulfill our mission of helping homeless or at-risk individuals and families secure stable homes.
Last year was an important one at Crossroads, as we expanded several of our programs and services:
The Domestic Violence Program of Crossroads was established following a three-year affiliation with the Women's Center of Rhode Island.
We completed the renovation of Whitmarsh House, which provides supportive housing for 11 chronically homeless or youth individuals.
We began operating Harrington Hall, the largest shelter for men in the state.
We expanded our Street Outreach Program aimed at providing housing and supportive services to the unsheltered homeless in our community.
Through your support, we help our clients overcome barriers and ultimately help them end their homeless circumstances with stable housing.
On behalf of Crossroads and those whom we serve, thank you for your continued generosity. We could not do it without you. I hope you will continue to join us in our efforts to house our homeless neighbors as quickly, safely, and respectfully as possible.
Karen A. Santilli
President & CEO
With the opening of 5 new units at the Harold Lewis House and the release of the Aging and Homelessness Report, Crossroads Rhode Island has recently been featured in various news media outlets.
Providence Journal - "Crossroads Rhode Island: Homelessness among people 50 and over has increased sharply "
Providence Business News - "Crossroads sees homelessness rise among older Rhode Islanders"
RINPR - "A Growing Number of RI’s Homeless Population Is Elderly"
WPRI - "As Non-Profit opens new wing, more elders becoming homeless"
Crossroads Rhode Island held a press conference to unveil the 5 new housing units at the Harold Lewis House and to release the Report on Aging and Homelessness.
"They gave me a place to lay my head when I had nowhere to go". Terry, a resident of the Harold Lewis shared part of his story about how Crossroads Rhode
Island, and in particular the Harold Lewis House made a difference in
Crossroads Rhode Island also announced the release of the' "Report on Aging and Homelessness".
With the number of homeless adults over the age of 50 rapidly
increasing and as more elders are becoming homeless for the first
time, there is a need to raise awareness of this growing problem.
Located in the Knowledge Center, the "Report on Aging and Homelessness" provides recent information on elderly homelessness and the ways that Crossroads is providing solutions.
Speakers at this morning's press conference included:
After the speaking portion was finished attendees were invited to tour the new units and take copies of the "Report on Aging and Homelessness"
On November 21st, Crossroads was joined by local leaders and community members as we celebrated the opening of the newly renovated Whitmarsh House Apartments in Providence!
Whitmarsh House will be operated by Crossroads. The new permanent supportive housing facility will serve chronic homeless individuals and youth ages 18-24.
Thank you to Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman David Cicilline, General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, Mayor Jorge Elorza, Barbara Fields, Brother John McHale, and our friends and supporters for joining us for this exciting occasion!
In conjunction with the opening of Whitmarsh House, we released our annual Special Report. Each year, Crossroads produces a report focusing on one population or aspect of homelessness in order to bring awareness to that particular issue.
This year, our report focuses on Youth Homelessless. Specifically, we examine the population of unaccompanied homeless youth ages 18-24. This is a population that is often unseen, but has been growing in recent years.
Read more from the Providence Journal!
Crossroads Staff Writer
June 11, 2010
Back in February, in the middle of a cold winter, Terry and her son faced an awful reality—they were homeless and had no idea where to turn. "I had heard about Crossroads Rhode Island and knew it was a place to go when you really need help," Terry says, "But I didn't know they helped families." Terry was desperate for a safe place to stay, so she and her son took a bus to Crossroads and asked for help.
"From the moment I walked into Crossroads, I know I had made the right decision," Terry remembers. "Everyone treated us with respect and kindness." Terry and her son found a welcoming temporary home at the Crossroads Family Shelter where Sandra Robinson, the Case Advocate Supervisor, helped them navigate the journey out of homelessness. Terry says that Sandra inspired her to believe in herself, develop self-esteem and take advantage of opportunities at Crossroads.
Within a short time, Terry enrolled in Crossroads' Customer Service training, a demanding program that helped her develop professional communication skills, improve her academic level and learn to use basic computer programs. Just getting to class on time every day was a challenge, because Terry wanted her son to stay in the same school and that involved getting up early and spending almost 4 hours a day on the bus. Even though it was difficult, Terry thrived in the Customer Service training and distinguished herself as a student. She was rewarded for her hard work with a paid internship at the Providence Performing Arts Center, where she has excelled in her work and is looking forward to permanent employment there. "I am proud to tell people that I am a student at Crossroads Rhode Island," she says, "because their training gave me a new start and hope for my family."
Terry's first goal when she came to Crossroads was to find affordable, decent housing, which can be time-consuming and very difficult for low-income families in our state. Sandra connected Terry to Crossroads' Rapid Re-housing Program, and with the help and coaching of Case Advocate Melissa Fijol, Terry has met all requirements for the program and is on the waiting list for affordable housing. Just meeting all the requirements for the program can be difficult and time-consuming, and Terry is grateful that Melissa encouraged her to stay on track. One requirement of the Rapid Re-Housing Program is financial education and counseling, which Terry says will help her manage her income and budget so that she does not find herself homeless ever again. "It was great," Terry says, "I didn't know how helpful the financial part would be." So far, Terry has seen one apartment that is coming available but hopes to find one nearer her son's school if possible. In the meantime, she is continuing to save money for the rent and deposit she needs to secure her new apartment. Her dream is to work hard and save enough money during the next five years to be able to buy a home.
Terry says that she came to Crossroads to find a bed for a night, but instead she found a wealth of resources that are helping her achieve things she only dreamed of doing. "I am a successful student and a good worker. I'm learning new professional skills, gaining self-confidence and becoming a person that I can admire." Terry attributes her success to the people at Crossroads who reached out to help her. "They all have a heart, and I am a lucky woman to have their support." She goes through a long list of those who have helped her along the way and wants to make sure they know how important their help is to her. She wants to thank Sandra at the Family Center who told her, "You can do it. I can only guide you," and has been there to help every step of the way. Terry is grateful to Steve Osorio, the Customer Service trainer who helped her enroll in the job training program and encouraged her to succeed. She thanks Jillian Tracey, who helped her with both social services and educational instruction; Viola Smith, the Employment Specialist who made sure she was ready to go to work and dressed for success; Melissa Fijol and Nicole Bush from the Rapid Re-Housing program; and all the Crossroads' staff that told her, "You can do it. Just believe in yourself."
Terry's story is a fine example of the Continuum of Care model that Crossroads uses to help people rebuild their lives so they will not be vulnerable to further homelessness. She came for shelter, but found out that there is a whole range of services and supports available at Crossroads to help families and individuals succeed. "Going to Crossroads was the best decision I ever made," Terry says. But, as Sandra Robinson at the Family Center observes, "Terry has made a success of herself because she works really hard and has learned that she has a lot of potential. She has come to believe in herself and her ability to provide for her family. We are proud of her." As for Terry, she is proud of her achievements, grateful to be working in a prestigious place like the Performing Arts Center, and looking forward to a good life for herself and her son.
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