News & Event
Providence, RI, July 1, 2016
The Board of Directors of Crossroads Rhode Island, the state’s largest provider of services to the homeless, today announced a merger with the Women’s Center of Rhode Island, an organization serving victims of domestic violence. After a formal three-year affiliation, the two organizations have merged into one 501(c)3 organization governed by the Crossroads Board of Directors, and all Women’s Center programs and services have moved into Crossroads’ continuum of care as the Domestic Violence Program of Crossroads Rhode Island.
The Board of Directors of both organizations unanimously agreed to the merger. “This merger represents the coming together of two organizations united in the common goal of empowering vulnerable individuals and families to overcome homelessness and live safe, self-sufficient lives free of violence,” noted Virginia Branch, Women’s Center of Rhode Island Board Chair and Crossroads Rhode Island board member.
By combining the resources of both organizations, this new entity is better positioned to meet the needs of the community.
“By merging, we will improve the quality and accessibility of services to survivors of domestic violence and expand the range of services that support clients as they transition to safety, housing and stability,” noted Jack McConnell, Crossroads Rhode Island Board Chair. “The merger not only enhances and expands the scope of services of both nonprofits, but also provides a larger operating platform,” he added.
From a sample of women who had experienced domestic violence, 38% became homeless after they separated from their abusive partner. An additional 25% indicated that they had to leave their homes during the year following the separation for both safety and financial reasons.
“By bringing an innovative Housing First approach to our Domestic Violence Program, we hope to break the cycle of violence by providing opportunities for supportive, safe housing options for women and children as they transition from shelter,” noted Karen Santilli, President of Crossroads Rhode Island. “We will continue to offer comprehensive, evidence-based programs and services to individuals and families in crisis, such as 24/7 hotline, domestic violence safe shelter, case management, employment support and supportive transitional and permanent housing that survivors want and need to become independent.”
A Domestic Violence Committee of the Board will ensure that evidence-based domestic violence programs and services will continue and expand to meet the needs of clients who have experienced the trauma of domestic violence.
Additionally, Crossroads has applied for affiliate membership with the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV), an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence.
“The Women’s Center was one of the founding member agencies of the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence in 1979, and they have been an integral component of the domestic violence movement in our state. We are looking forward to working with Crossroads Rhode Island, and to helping them maintain critical services for victims of domestic violence in the Providence area,” noted Deborah DeBare, Executive Director of the RICADV.
Today, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian announced plans to re-open the former Rhode Island Family Shelter located on Beach Avenue in Warwick.
Through a mutual and amicable agreement between the Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Family Shelter and Crossroads Rhode Island, Crossroads will begin operating the shelter for homeless families on Friday, September 4th. Crossroads will also provide services and support to the families living in the supportive housing units at that same location.
A collaborative effort by the Rhode Island Office of Housing and Community Development, Rhode Island Housing, the City of Warwick and other local community partners and donors will provide funding to operate the shelter and housing program.
“I am very happy to know that this partnership will preserve all of the shelter bed space that was offered in the City of Warwick, and I am happy to see the relationship that has developed between Crossroads and the Rhode Island Family Shelter,” said Mayor Scott Avedisian. “It’s great to see a positive resolution to this issue, and I offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been involved in the process for coming together to ensure that some of the most vulnerable citizens of Warwick and Rhode Island will continue to have a safe and nurturing place to stay.”
“Crossroads is honored to have been asked by the Board of the Rhode Island Family Shelter and the Mayor of Warwick to step in to re-open this valuable community resource for families who are
homeless,” said Karen Santilli, President of Crossroads Rhode Island. “This is a particularly difficult time of year for families with schools opening as well as the coming holidays and winter. While Crossroads’ goal is to secure stable homes for these families, the need is outpacing the resources available for affordable housing, and emergency shelter is necessary. We are committed to working with these families to get them housed as quickly as possible.”
The shelter offers space for up to ten families at a time. While in emergency shelter, these families will receive case management and supports from Crossroads to move into housing as quickly as possible. The seven families in the permanent supportive housing program will also continue to receive supportive services from Crossroads. With overwhelming need for shelter capacity for Rhode Island’s homeless families, this collaboration will provide families safe and secure temporary housing and will keep families together as they seek permanent solutions to their homelessness.
“The Rhode Island Family Shelter Board of Directors is excited about the reopening of the shelter as our goal was always to keep with our original mission of helping families in need. We appreciate Crossroads’ collaboration and experience during this transition time and look forward to our on-going relationship,” said Christina Johnk, Board Chair, Rhode Island Family Shelter.
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.
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
The 2011 Rhode Island Spirit of Home Awards Celebration to benefit Crossroads Rhode Island was held on November 3rd at the Providence Art Club. This special event was hosted by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares, and featured hor d’oeuvres, cocktails, a silent auction and a presentation that honored Crossroads staff member Lesly Joseph. All proceeds from this evening supported the mission of Crossroads Rhode Island.
Thank you to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares and all those who attended this special event to benefit Crossroads Rhode Island.
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