Message From The Chairman & President
Every year in Rhode Island, about 4,000 people experience homelessness. Low wages and soaring housing costs put a strain on low-income workers. For too many Rhode Islanders, an unexpected bill, illness or job loss is all it takes for them to tumble into homelessness. That’s why your support is more critical now than ever before.
The vast majority of our state’s homeless are working poor, who often struggle just to get by. A smaller number are chronically homeless individuals who typically suffer from mental or physical disabilities and require intensive intervention. Sadly, an increasing number are families.
Fortunately, thanks to our adoption of a Housing First philosophy several years ago, homelessness tends to be a temporary situation here in Rhode Island. Unlike traditional shelter models, where individuals and families often live in temporary housing for months—even years—Housing First moves individuals and families experiencing homelessness into permanent housing as quickly as possible.
Once individuals and families have been housed, case management and support services are provided to address the issues that caused them to become homeless in the first place. These services typically include short-term rental assistance and education and employment programs. Referrals to health care, mental health and substance abuse programs are also facilitated.
Housing First works. In fact, while homelessness is rapidly reaching the crisis level in other states, Rhode Island is one of the top five states in the nation with the lowest number of unsheltered homeless!
Here at Crossroads, the largest provider of housing and services to the homeless in Rhode Island, we provided services to 3,300 men, women and children in 2017. As a result of those efforts, we’re proud to report that more than 1,740 people, including 448 families, were no longer homeless last year.
Even better, given an adequate supply of affordable housing and appropriate support, more than 90 percent of those who experience homelessness in Rhode Island each year ultimately achieve self-sufficiency—and never become homeless again.
But without the ongoing support of our compassionate and generous donors, these results simply would not be possible, so we thank you for caring—and for making a difference. Working together, we can end homelessness in Rhode Island and help thousands of individuals and families
– Jack McConnell, Chairman, Crossroads Rhode Island, Board of Directors
– Karen A. Santilli, President & CEO, Crossroads Rhode Island
Those with the Greatest needs are prioritized
In 2017, more than 3,300 Rhode Islanders accessed services at one of Crossroads' 12 locations statewide.
Crossroads Rhode Island is the largest provider of housing and services to the homeless in Rhode Island. We are also the only homeless services agency that provides services for the homeless 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Shortly after arrival, caring Crossroads staff members meet with individuals or families to understand their specific circumstances and housing or service needs.
Evidence-informed Assessment Tools
To help ensure that those with the greatest needs are prioritized, Crossroads uses evidence-informed assessment tools. These assessment tools score clients on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, the following:
- History of homelessness
- Medication usage
- Ability to take care of themselves
- Involvement in high-risk or exploitive situations
- Physical or mental illness
- Substance use issues
- Income and basic money management skills
- Legal issues
- Interactions with emergency personnel
These assessments help our team determine the most effective strategies and interventions needed to help our clients get their lives back on track.
“Everyone at Crossroads gave us so much support, a reminder that we could do this, that this isn’t the end of the road. They pushed us to keep going forward.”—Helen and Lee, Women's Shelter members
Many sought refuge from last winter’s bitter cold and snow, 150 were fleeing domestic violence and still others found themselves homeless after struggling to find work or affordable housing.
Housing First Approach
As part of Crossroads’ Housing First approach, our goal is to help people move out of emergency shelters and into permanent, stable housing as quickly as possible.
Crossroads strives to move clients out of shelter and into permanent, affordable housing within 30 days, but due to the significant shortage of affordable housing, some clients may stay in shelter for 60 to 90 days.
When Crossroads assumed management of Harrington Hall in the summer of 2016, the largest men’s shelter in the state routinely exceeded its maximum capacity.
In fact, a handful of the men had been living in the large, auditorium-style shelter for ten years or more.
“They had been conditioned to believe that they weren’t capable of living on their own,” said Karen Santilli, Crossroads' president.
From Homeless to Home
Since then, leveraging our Housing First approach, Crossroads has helped more than 150 men move into permanent housing–and stay there.
Earlier this year, a battered envelope was delivered to Crossroads. Inside was a handwritten note and $40. "I’ve stayed at Harrington Hall, where it’s comfortable,” the note read. “Good food, well-managed. Here is a small donation not actually representing actual cost.”
Housing First is recognized nationally as THE most effective method of ending homelessness. Research shows that once a person has been stabilized in housing, they are much more successful in addressing the issues that caused them to become homeless in the first place. In fact, helping at-risk individuals and families secure stable housing is our passion, not just our mission, here at Crossroads.
This allows us to provide housing solutions that are appropriate for a variety of households, including:
- Single adults
- Adult couples without children
- Families with children
- Formerly homeless adults, age 50+
Of course, anyone who’s ever had to find a new place to live knows it isn’t easy—so we also provide our clients with a variety of supports to help them succeed, including housing-based search assistance, financial and lifestyle counseling, short-term financial assistance and intensive home-based case management.
As a result of these and other efforts, last year, more than 1,740 people, including 448 families, are no longer homeless.
Helping Formerly Homeless & At-risk Individuals Acheive Self-sufficiency
It’s not easy to get a job and pay for an apartment if you only have a fifth-grade reading level. That’s why Crossroads provides high-quality adult education, job training and support services designed to help homeless and at-risk individuals achieve self-sufficiency.
- Education and Employment Programs
- GED and Adult Basic Education Programs
- Computer Literacy
- Financial Literacy
- Pre-employment Support and Job Placement
- CNA Training
In 2017, Crossroads provided more than 500 clients with education and employment services. Of the 230 adults that participated in job-readiness programs, 117 previously unemployed adults reentered the workforce.
That’s quite an achievement when you consider that up to 90 percent of our clients have experienced some sort of violence or trauma. Many have been disconnected from society for a very long time and don’t know what to do to get their lives back on track.
Crossroads meets them exactly where they are, with no barriers to entry. Our education and employment programs offer progressive engagement with a very high touch. We make people feel valued and respected, which for many, is a new experience.
“We're peddlers of hope, hope that things can and will get better.”—Bernice Morris, Director of Education & Employment
Like most non-profits, Crossroads relies on a variety of sources to fund our housing, shelters, services and programs. These include, but are not limited to the following:
- Federal, State & Local Funding
- Corporate, Community and Family Foundations
- Individual & Corporate Fundraising
- Earned Revenue (Rents, Program Fees, Endowment Interest, etc.)
2017 Earnings and Spendings
In 2017, we raised or earned $13,822,357 in revenue and spent $13,768,142 for our operations, housing, shelters and services and programs.
We simply could not do what we do without your unwavering support. We welcome you to download the complete Annual Report or make a donation below.