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News & Event
As a company dedicated to helping people on their path to better health, CVS Health has provided significant funding for health related services at Crossroads Family Center, which provides emergency shelter and intensive, housing-focused case management for families experiencing homelessness.
CVS Health has been a committed supporter of Crossroads for nearly two decades, providing grants, sponsorships, volunteers, and product donations to support our efforts.
Left to right: Nicole Green, Director of Strategic Alliance at CVS Health's MinuteClinic division; Joanne Dwyer, Senior Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Communications; Karen Santilli, Crossroads Rhode Island President
Many of Crossroads' fundraising events have been generously sponsored by CVS Health. In April, CVS Health was an Award Sponsor of our annual Women Helping Women event, which benefits women in the Women's Shelter and other programs for women at Crossroads. At the event, they honored Nicole Green, Director of Strategic Alliance at CVS Health's MinuteClinic division.
CVS Health colleagues also volunteer at Crossroads working on a variety of projects. Two CVS Health senior leaders, Eileen Howard Boone (Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy) and Flossie Crisp (Vice President & Senior Legal Counsel) serve on the Crossroads board. In addition, teams of volunteers from CVS Health are part of service projects that help the clients of Crossroads.
Recently, the Store Brands team spent a full day volunteering at 160 Broad Street where they generously donated supplies and assembled over 100 Welcome Home Kits, designed personalized birthday cards for children's upcoming birthdays and stocked and reorganized Crossroads' pantries. Additionally, a group of volunteers decorated the Family Center for Halloween and packed healthy snack bags for the families.
Thank you to our friends at CVS Health for all that you do to support our work and promote charitable giving in Southern New England!
CVS Health Store Brands Team assembled over 100 Welcome Home Kits
As a company dedicated to helping people on their path to better health, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island (NHPRI) has been a valued partner of Crossroads Rhode Island for many years, striving to ensure that Rhode Island’s at-risk populations have access to high quality, cost-effective health care. Neighborhood currently serves more than 190,000 members - 1 out of every 5 Rhode Islanders - and has been ranked as one of the top Medicaid health plans in America for the past twelve years. The ongoing funding we receive from Neighborhood Health allows us to continue to provide services and support to homeless individuals and families in Rhode Island.
Recently, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island nominated Crossroads Rhode Island for the ACAP (Association for Community Affiliated Plans) annual Supporting the Safety Net award, which recognizes community-based organizations that implement exemplary, inventive programs to meet the health needs of high-risk populations and serve as a model of best practices for other communities.
“I’m proud to announce that Crossroads Rhode Island received Honorable Mention in recognition of their commitment to serving vulnerable populations and to improving the health of Medicaid enrollees and others with low incomes,” noted Peter Marino, President and Chief Executive Officer of NHPRI. “This is a prestigious national award considering ACAP represents 60 non-for-profit Safety Net Health Plans, including NHPRI, which provide health coverage to more than twenty million people in 29 states.”
“We want to thank NHPRI for nominating Crossroads for this prestigious national award,” noted Karen Santilli. “But more importantly, we are proud to partner with a local community provider like Neighborhood that treats members with dignity and respect and strives to create access to needed services and social supports. Our common goal is to make sure everyone in the state has access to high-quality, low-cost health care and that our most vulnerable homeless individuals and families can improve their health status as they transition from shelter to housing. “
Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island cares about those who are disenfranchised from the health care system and works to ensure the possibility of access to care and improved health outcomes for Rhode Island’s at-risk population. Neighborhood’s membership outreach team provides free monthly information sessions, held at Crossroads’ Broad Street headquarters. These sessions are open to all of our clients who are interested in joining NHPRI. And for those who are already a member, they are available to answer questions about membership, eligibility and benefits.
Many of Crossroads’ fundraising events have been generously sponsored by Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island. In October, NHPRI was a sponsor of our annual Awards Luncheon to benefit the Domestic Violence Program of Crossroads. The commitment, support and generosity of community friends like NHPRI enables us to continue our work to empower vulnerable individuals and families to overcome homelessness and live safe, healthy and self-sufficient lives free of violence.
Thank you to our friends at Neighborhood Health for all that you do to support our work and for providing access to high quality health care in Rhode Island!
On Tuesday July 13, Performance Physical Therapy visited the community room at Crossroads Rhode Island to teach clients about the health benefits of stretching. This program was made possible by the Covidien Partnership for Neighborhood Wellness grant received by Crossroads in January of this year. Covidien is one of the world's leading providers of healthcare products. Covidien's Neighborhood Wellness program focuses on providing communities in need with the funding and expertise necessary to implement quality healthcare initiatives. Crossroads is currently utilizing the Covidien grant to provide clients with overall health and wellness education programs on a weekly basis.
The interactive stretching class led by Dr. Michelle Collie, president of Performance Physical Therapy, allowed clients to engage in interactive stretching techniques that utilized common items such as chairs and doorways to maximize the benefits of stretching. Aided by two of her staff members, Dr. Collie provided the 20-plus clients with worksheets and water bottles to keep motivation active once the program concluded. Clients expressed a great interest in Performance Physical Therapy returning for future programming as well as reported learning valuable techniques for stretching and better overall health. Dr. Collie explained her satisfaction with the wellness program by saying, “If you help one person feel a little bit better, it's worth it.”
Other recently held wellness programs have included a Nutrition 101 class and a derma screening and sun safety program led by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health & Wellness Institute. Under the guidance of health educator Jeff Rodrigues, the Wellness Institute has been conducting health programs at Crossroads for over 5 years. At the most recent blood pressure screening held on July 20, over 30 clients received a blood pressure screening. Clients also received information about the importance of screening for hypertension as well as the availability of free blood pressure screenings at local fire stations and many drugstores.
You can get more information at their websites: Performance Physical Therapy, Covidien, and Blue Cross Blue Shield Health & Wellness Institute.
For the past year, Crossroads has been coordinating weekly health programming sessions for our clients thanks, in part, to grants from Covidien and Rite Aid. Each week a different community partner provides programming on a variety of different health and wellness related topics such as blood pressure, nutrition, HIV/Aids, yoga, and diabetes. We have been fortunate to have specialists from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Pharma Resources, Performance Physical Therapy, Lifespan, and Miriam Hospital participate, and on average have 40 clients attend the programming each week.
Last week, the Minority Outreach Specialist from Lifespan Community Health Services came in to talk about domestic violence (DV) to our female clients. We had more clients than anticipated, but the number in attendance isn't what was successful about the session. The success of the session was based on how many clients opened up about their personal DV situations and asked questions on how they could get help. Several women cried throughout the presentation and several stayed after to ask questions. Judy*, a resident in the tower, approached the Outreach Specialist at the end of the session and shook her hand and thanked her for all of the information she provided. Judy had personally experienced violence recently and was now ready to receive more support.
This wasn't the first time that a client had taken the next step in
(*Please note that the client's name has been changed in order to respect privacy.)
With funding support and technical assistance, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) has generously aided Crossroads in providing wellness programming for the many clients that come through our doors each day.
Volunteers from all areas of health and wellness provide our clients with information relevant to their experience. These programs are vital to those we serve as we assist them in becoming prepared on their journey towards a better quality of life.
The programs have a wide range of topics that include;
- General Health & Hygiene - Safe Sex & HIV
- Blood Pressure Screening - Derma Screening
- Yoga - Relaxation & Stretching Techniques
- Breast Cancer - Prostate & Male Testicular Cancer
- Domestic Violence - Nutrition
- Diabetes - Glucose & Cholesterol Screening
Many of our clients are eager for the next time they see these volunteers. Learning new techniques and adjusting their lifestyle to be healthier despite the adversity they face each day.
Clients also assist in letting us know topics that they encounter; pridefully letting us know how they have utilized the techniques they have learned courtesy of our health and wellness programming.
Thanks to funding from and the partnership with BCBSRI, our clients can live healthier and better prepared lifestyle as they move forward on their journey.
“Sometimes I hear stories from the people I am trying to help. They tell me about folks they are worried about and help me make connections,” Carlos tells me. “Sometimes, I find out about homeless people at the mental health clinic where I work during the day. Recently, I heard about a grandmother who was living in a car with her daughter and the daughter’s baby in the parking lot of a supermarket, and I went out to locate them.” Carlos found them, and after hearing their story, he was determined to get them to safe shelter. “They were living with a family member who moved to a new apartment, and there was no way that they could go along. They were sleeping in their car and going to other relatives and friends to shower and rest during the day.” The grandmother ended up having a breakdown and was receiving mental health treatment, but she had no stable place for her family to stay, and that made everything worse. Carlos was able to take the family to Crossroads, and now the situation is improving quickly. Mom, daughter and the grandbaby are living in an emergency apartment for now, and working with their case advocate and the rapid re-housing staff to rebuild their finances, apply for assistance and find stable housing.
“I met another woman who was living in an abandoned camper in the parking lot of a former factory. She was surviving in the unheated camper with no electricity or water. The property manager had allowed her to stay there for more than a year, but when the property was being sold, he told her that she would have to leave. The woman was a survivor of a brutal rape and suffered from extreme trauma. “It took quite a while to gain her trust,” Carlos says, “I would bring her food and other things to help her out. Finally, she agreed to come to Crossroads, just to take showers and wash her clothes. Gradually, she began to feel comfortable with me, and when the day arrived that she had to vacate the camper, she agreed to come to Crossroads for shelter and to work with a case advocate. “She is in a safe place now, and working with her case advocates to find housing and services she needs.”
“I was talking with some people, and they told me about a woman who was sleeping in a park at night, and I went out to find her,” Carlos says. He discovered Molly, a woman in her 30’s with a history of mental illness, who had spent a life filled with abuse and had been trafficked by family members for sex since she was a small child. She had moved to Woonsocket with one of her sisters after narrowly escaping a drive-by shooting in the city where she grew up. Molly’s sister left her in Woonsocket, and Molly wanted to stay their mother, who was living in a high rise. The mother could not have anyone else living in the apartment, so Molly was hiding in her mother’s house during the day and sleeping in the park at night. Finally, Molly suffered a mental health crisis and was sent to a mental health center for treatment, and it was there that Carlos learned about her predicament. “ I knew she had no permanent residence, so I tried hard to reach out to her and gain her trust, and finally I was able to bring her to Crossroads,” Carlos says. “She is getting the help she needs now, including mental health services, health care, some cash assistance, and she is well on her way to getting supportive housing. If I hadn’t been able to find her and bring her to Crossroads, I don’t know what would have happened to her.”
There are more stories, and lots of people still struggling to survive in hidden places in the city. Carlos doesn’t give up on a single person, and every night that he can, he gets in the Crossroads van and goes where most people wouldn’t dare tread. His dedication and caring continue to save the lives of some of our most vulnerable neighbors. We are very grateful to Carlos for his work.
“I knew I had to find a way to help them,” Carlos says. “I found two desperate people in dire need of emergency assistance, and I took them to Crossroads. Ingrid was able to receive health care, treatment and pain management services at the on-site Providence Community Health Centers clinic.” With the help of Crossroads’ Case Advocate, Deidre Jones, Ingrid and John entered the Crossroads Couples Shelter where they are receiving the services they need while they work together to rebuild their lives.
Although John has a disability, Tourette Syndrome, which sometimes makes life difficult for him, he has worked all his life without any public assistance. But now, as he is getting older, it is harder for him to find work, especially during these harsh economic times in Rhode Island. With Deidre’s help, both Ingrid and John have begun the process of applying for disability benefits that will give them income to qualify for supportive housing and access to health care.
Although their suffering has lessened somewhat, Ingrid and John still face a long wait to gain approval for disability benefits, health care and housing assistance. Thanks to RI DHS efforts to expedite SNAP (food assistance) applications for homeless people, this struggling couple has resources now to purchase food, and they can continue to get health care at the Crossroads clinic. The Crossroads Couples Shelter is spacious, has private rooms for couples and offers shared kitchen space that allows guests to prepare meals. But living in a shelter takes getting used to after having been independent all their lives and they are working hard with their case advocate to transition to permanent housing.
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