News & Event
Earlier this year Crossroads completed a renovation of the entrance to our building at 160 Broad St. in Providence. This renovation has provided us with the necessary upgrades to create a safe, respectful and effective environment for our clients.
The re-configuration of the main entry has increased the size of the waiting and seating areas, improved security by allowing front-desk staff to see all parts of the Community Room and waiting areas from the reception desk. A redesign of the intake space and housing services desk areas adjacent to the reception area has provided greater security for clients and staff, has allowed controlled access to the housing tower, and ensures maximum privacy for homeless clients during intake.
The renovations were made possible because of a grant from The Champlin Foundations On July 26, 2012 the lobby was re-dedicated to the memory of a beloved advocate and friend of Crossroads Rhode Island, H. Peter Olsen Esq. Members of Peter’s family, former colleagues and representatives from The Champlin Foundations attended the touching ceremony. Peter also served as a Trustee of The Champlin Foundations.
The Crossroads Rhode Island community suffered a tremendous loss at Peter’s passing at the end of October 2011. Peter, who served on Crossroads Board of Directors for many years, was not only an asset as a Board Member but also as a volunteer. Spending time with our clients in Education and Employment Services, Peter dedicated many hours assisting men and women in learning to read, write and perform math skills. He earned their trust and friendship; he helped them move forward in their educational journey. His family generously asked that people honor his memory by making donations to Crossroads Rhode Island.
Carlos, a Crossroads client and former student of Peter’s, wrote a speech and read it at the dedication. An excerpt from Carlos’s speech poignantly read;
“Peter was a special man. Whoever had the opportunity to work with him knew how much he cared for his family and the world around him. I will miss Peter, but cherish his memory”
A plaque is mounted right by the front desk in Peter’s honor. It serves as a reminder to everyone what it means to dedicate oneself to their community. If you’d like to make a lasting gift in Peter’s memory, please contact Christine Luke in the Development Office at Crossroads Rhode Island.
In order to participate, print the voucher on this page and bring it with you to shop at the Barnes & Noble located at 1350 Bald Hill Road in Warwick, Rhode Island at any time on the day of the event. A percentage of your sale will be contributed to Crossroads.
On the day of the event, there will be an Arts & Crafts Special for Kids from 3:00PM to 7:00PM. There will also be a "Polar Express" presentation with hot cocoa and cookies to follow at 7:00PM!
Barnes & Noble is not only the perfect place to pick up a good book for yourself; they also have fun and thoughtful items for everyone on your holiday shopping list, including CDs, DVDs, games, travel mugs, stationery, and much more!
Providence, RI, April 17, 2015 – Crossroads Rhode Island Board of Directors’ chair, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. today announced that the Board has named Karen A. Santilli as President and CEO of the state’s largest provider of services to the homeless. Ms. Santilli will succeed Anne Nolan, who will retire after 14 years of service. Ms.Santilli, 48, Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, and a member of the Senior Management Team of Crossroads Rhode Island joined Crossroads in 2008 and brings more than 25 years of non-profit experience to her new role starting June 1, 2015.
Ms. Santilli has recently led the organization through a strategic planning process that confirmed organizational values and redefined the mission, establishing and implementing a housing first model geared toward housing people and ending homelessness. In addition, Ms. Santilli has led the Marketing & Development Team to raise $2.8 million annually through a multi-media mix including direct mail, special events, grants, web-based marketing, major donor development, Planned Giving and community outreach. Under her leadership, Ms. Santilli has doubled the active donor base over a 5 year period.
“As President of Crossroads my first priority will be to continue to build on the strong foundation that Anne Nolan has built as well as ensuring that the organization’s values continue to be the driving force behind everything we do,” said Santilli. “I’ve had the opportunity to spend the past eight years actively engaging with Crossroad’s Board, management team, front-line employees and clients,” said Santilli. “I am honored to have the opportunity to now lead the Crossroads team as we move forward to ending homelessness.”
Prior to joining Crossroads, Ms. Santilli was the Marketing Director at Plan USA (formerly Foster Parents Plan) where she provided leadership and direction to the organization’s operations, participated in strategic business planning and ensured sound financial planning, as well as implementation of new systems and procedures. In addition, she managed all aspects of sponsor and donor acquisition and development, and coordinated with international field staff to identify appropriate overseas development projects.
“After a nationwide search, and with a very strong pool of finalists, the Board unanimously and enthusiastically elected Karen Santilli,” said Judge McConnell, Crossroads Board Chairman. “Karen is an accomplished and outstanding leader, and a dedicated social service advocate who has successfully led the organization through a profound and multi-layer organizational change. She has been a key part of our success, and the Board believes that Karen has the vision and leadership to guide our organization as we continue to put housing first and end homelessness in Rhode Island,” said Judge McConnell.
“On behalf of the Board I sincerely thank Anne for her valuable contributions and outstanding service throughout her career at Crossroads. We will be indebted for her passionate leadership, dedication and service to thousands of homeless individuals and families, and for being the embodiment of Crossroads values – Safety, Respect and Effectiveness”, said Judge McConnell.
“I’m proud of the work that Karen has done, particularly during a difficult economy, and I’m optimistic that Karen will build on the Crossroads foundation to succeed in the future,” Anne Nolan said. “Karen has been a great addition to our organization and her marketing and business savvy, and strong leadership skills make her an excellent choice to lead Crossroads going forward. It’s been an honor to have led such a dedicated staff for more than 14 years. It’s tough to say goodbye to the Crossroads family and clients, but I am truly confident as I pass the reins over to Karen, that she will continue to move our agency and our mission forward.”
For Media Inquiries, Contact:
Patricia Campellone, Manager of Special Event and Public Relations
Citizens Bank Rhode Island President Ned Handy was present at the dedication to receive a certificate of appreciation from Crossroads President Anne Nolan for Citizens' continuous support throughout the years.
Since late 2011, the Crossroads Family Center has sheltered a record number of families with small children. The Family Center has space for 15 families, but the demand for shelter has been so great in recent months that the staff has had to put cots and mattresses in the Center’s common area and computer study room to accommodate additional families.
At our downtown location, families have had to share our Family Room or sleep in conference rooms because no shelter could be found for them. Crossroads is working frantically to find additional shelter options for families, and the staff at the Family Center is doing everything possible to help parents and children cope with their situations. Homelessness is traumatic, especially for children, and the severe overcrowding at the Family Center presents additional challenges for everyone.
Chontell Washington, Crossroads’ Family Literacy Coordinator, tries to come up with creative approaches to brighten the lives of the families and help the children enjoy learning activities while they are with us.
“Last year, we had a grant from the Ronald MacDonald House Charities, and I was impressed by their mission to enhance children’s lives. That idea stuck, and I decided we could enhance the lives of the children in our shelter despite the difficulties we are having now,” says Chontell.
She looked through a catalog of arts and crafts supplies, and when she saw some materials that she could use to convert the common area into an impromptu theater, she ordered some paper “guitars” and a backdrop that depicted a curtain and stage lights. The guitars were a little too flimsy, though.
“I knew that Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island employees were coming to Crossroads for a volunteer day in April, so I brought my paper guitars and some materials I got from the recycling center to our downtown location and took advantage of some of the Blue Cross volunteers,” Chontell explained. “They cut out colored cardboard backing and glued them to the paper guitars to make them stronger.”
On one of the regularly scheduled Family Literacy days, Chontell took over the Family Center dining room and brought out all the materials so that parents could work with the children to decorate each guitar.
“It was a great learning experience for the kids,” Chontell says. “They learned about guitars, counted the number of strings and learned how each one makes a different sound. It was a good activity for hand and eye coordination, dexterity, and learning new words.”
When the guitars were all decorated, Chontell put up the stage backdrop, lowered the lights and started the music, which turned out to be a universal language for the multi-lingual group of children. One by one, kids volunteered to be rock stars.
One little boy called his song ‘4’ and happily sang the words, “Uno, dos, tres, cuatro,” rocking to the music, with all the other children joining in.
“The parents were so proud of their little rock stars,” Chontell says. “So many of the children in the shelter are suffering from the trauma of having lost their homes, and they don’t talk to anyone. But when we started rocking, they all began to join in the dancing and singing. It was a wonderful time for them, and parents were so happy to see their children doing something fun.”
After the concert, the children enjoyed healthy snacks and continued to sing and show off their very own guitar creations.
This effort, which brought so much joy to children enduring very hard times, shows how a small effort by community volunteers can make a huge difference in the lives of our clients.
“I am so happy that the Blue Cross volunteers will be able to see how their work making paper guitars turned into so many smiles and so much happiness,” Chontell says.
Crossroads is very proud of Chontell and her woquatrrk to bring a successful Family Literacy program to our Family Center. These kinds of programs are a rarity in a shelter setting, but they are a powerful way to help children create positive memories while they are with us.
If you would like to help dedicated staff members like Chontell continue to enrich the lives of homeless children and give their parents the essential support and services they need to move their families out of homelessness, please consider donating now.
North Kingstown, RI (May 6, 2011) “The communities we build today must meet our state’s and residents’ needs of tomorrow,” says Anne Nolan, President of Crossroads Rhode Island. “And that means developing properties that maintain and protect our environment, are attractive for those who live there as well as their neighbors, and are affordable to Rhode Island working families.”
That sounds like a huge nut to crack but in fact, the Kingstown Crossings apartments were designed and re-developed by Crossroads Rhode Island and KITE Architects to accomplish all three goals and is on track for LEED certification once finished. The community of the future features a lovely, village-like design that utilizes environment-saving technology– which helps residents save money, while occupying the same amount of land as the buildings being replaced.
“LEED for Homes” is a rating system that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes. Green homes use less energy, water and natural resources, create less waste, and are more durable and comfortable for occupants.
“Rhode Island has so much to offer in terms of its beauty and environment. Yet the numbers of those who are without homes they can afford is growing,” adds Nolan. “We are proud to be able to create sustainable homes that are also affordable. This is a win-win. These beautiful homes are indeed the centerpiece of communities of the future, with walkable conveniences and schools, energy efficient systems, all the while maintaining natural, wooded surroundings and landscape.”
The development features a central pedestrian pathway, which will minimize the use of cars and eliminate drive-through traffic, making the area safer for children and families, as well as being walker- and cyclist-friendly.
Five percent of the new apartments are also designed specifically for those with disabilities and all units will feature “green” technology including energy-efficient appliances, heating systems, window systems, and insulation.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held May 20, 2011.
Kingstown Crossings LEED for Homes Details
KITE Architects worked with Crossroads RI to design Kingstown Crossings in North Kingstown with many features across the spectrum of sustainability. A feature of the LEED for Homes program is that special focus is given to tenant training as well as ongoing building maintenance. Also, special durability inspections during construction ensure that all trades are building to high standards to ensure a long life of the building. Green features include:
Location and Linkages:
- The site has been previously developed – no farmland is used, and the site uses existing infrastructure such as power, natural gas, and sewers
- The apartments are located on a major bus line, enabling residents to get to work without a car
- There are stores, schools, and parks within walking distance
- Safe, ample play space and a continuous pedestrian path is provided on-site
- Use of local materials is encouraged and documented
- The site will be re-graded to filter most stormwater on-site with natural rain gardens, instead of flowing to Narragansett Bay and overloading storm sewers
- Most of the existing mature trees on-site will be protected during construction
- Low flow toilets, sinks, and showers save water
- Landscape plantings are native and drought resistant, so no irrigation system is needed
Energy & Atmosphere:
- Homes are participating in the Energy Star Homes program
- A high level of insulation and a compact form mean that the buildings’ score for efficiency – the HERS Index – will make the apartments 39% more efficient than required by code. This translates to hundreds of dollars of savings on each tenant’s utility bills.
- A high efficiency boiler (85% AFUE) in each unit will provide both heat and hot water
- All appliances are Energy Star compliant
- A programmable thermostat in each unit allows daytime temperatures to be lower while the residents are at work or school.
- Kitchens and bathrooms are located very close to the hot water heater, minimizing heat loss through the piping
- Ducted kitchen and bath exhaust fans ensure ample ventilation
- Large operable windows and ceiling fans allow residents to keep cool without an air conditioner
- Individually metered natural gas and electrical bills encourage personal responsibility for energy use
Materials and Resources:
- Flooring material is made from locally extracted and manufactured materials
- Pests such as termites are kept from damaging the structure with the use of metal shields at the foundation, using screens at all large openings, and caulking every joint tightly.
- No tropical hardwoods such as mahogany are used anywhere on site.
- The contractor has recycling as much construction waste as possible, has diverted over 80% so far from landfills
- Lumber cuts will be planned in advance to make sure not more than 10% of lumber ends up as scrap.
Indoor Environmental Quality:
- Hard surface flooring is used throughout, reducing indoor air quality problems associated with carpet
- The apartments will be flushed with fresh air to reduce any off-gassing prior to move-in of each unit
- Radon release measures including vent piping under the concrete slabs reduce the risk of radon.
- Doors made from recycled fibers are solid-core and long lasting
- Low-VOC paints and sealants are used
Awareness and Education:
- Onsite operations manager ensures proper maintenance
- Orientation & procedural overview and tours given prior to tenant move in.
More information about the LEED-Homes program may be found at http://www.usgbc.org
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