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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.
The storage and organization retailer’s 25,000 square foot store filled with 10,000 products to organize every area of your life provided the perfect backdrop for a Private Preview Party on Thursday, May 15th. Among those in attendance were Anne Nolan, President & Chief Executive Officer, Crossroads Rhode Island, Karen Santilli, Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, Crossroads Rhode Island, Peter Kilmartin, Rhode Island Attorney General, and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung. Members of The Container Store’s Vice President team were also in attendance at the event.
Melissa Reiff, President & Chief Operating Officer for The Container Store, welcomed attendees and thanked Crossroads Rhode Island for all of their support and efforts in getting the store ready for its Grand Opening. Nolan followed Reiff’s opening remarks by welcoming The Container Store to the community.
“Partnering with Crossroads Rhode Island has been an incredible honor for our company,” said Reiff. “They are truly invested in the entire Rhode Island community. We couldn’t have found a better match – and it’s an organization that we know our local customers and employees are passionate about.”
In celebration of Earth Day, 30 Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) employees from the Finance and Human Resources divisions spent the day completing a major clean-up effort at Crossroads Rhode Island’s main location. Working in conjunction with Crossroads staff and clients, the joint efforts created a safe and respectful environment for Crossroads residents and clients.
“BCBSRI is proud to support Crossroads and their work to assist individuals and families impacted by homelessness by providing crisis intervention, vocational resources, and housing,” said Mike Hudson, executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Volunteerism is central to BCBSRI’s corporate culture and we appreciate the countless BlueAngel volunteers who donate their time and talent to organizations in our community every day.”
As part of the activities, BCBSRI associates weeded and planted new flowers in the Women’s Shelter garden, installed sod by the rear entrance, cleaned the community and family rooms, sorted and organized donations in the emergency pantry, assisted our chef in meal preparation and the cleaning of the kitchen . BCBSRI donated all cleaning and gardening supplies and supplied lunch for all participants. This was the fifth year BCBSRI participated in this annual event.
Crossroads Rhode Island offers an environment that ensures the feeling of security and respect for all, including maintaining a green friendly environment for clients and staff.
The mission of Crossroads Rhode Island is to help homeless or at-risk individuals and families secure stable homes. Those we serve achieve this by engaging in our range of services including housing, basic needs, shelter, case management, referrals, and education and employment
For more information on Crossroads Rhode Island, including how to make a donation or volunteer, visit www.crossroadsri.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @CrossroadsRI
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state’s leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit BCBSRI.com and follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI.
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