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Stories & Insights
While most Rhode Islanders hunkered down at home during the blizzard, Crossroads' frontline staff were hard at work making sure that our residents and people experiencing homelessness had a safe place to stay during the storm.
February 04, 2022
While most Rhode Islanders hunkered down at home during the blizzard that brought high winds, bitter cold and more than two feet of snow last weekend, Crossroads' frontline staff were hard at work making sure that our residents and people experiencing homelessness had a safe place to stay during the storm.
The following is a glimpse into the work done at Crossroads' various properties to keep our shelter guests warm and comfortable during
Crossroads’ Community Room at 160 Broad Street was opened up as a warming center and make shift movie theatre for people looking for a safe refuge from the frigid winter conditions brought on by Saturday’s storm.
As the hours passed, our Community Room was filled to capacity, and people in need coming through Crossroads doors were also being settled into our front lobby.
“Many of the people who showed up at our warming center last weekend have never been to Crossroads before," said Terry Luzzato, Director of Adult Shelter Services. “But it was so cold they had no choice but to come in or risk freezing to death. That gave us an opportunity to talk to them about how we can help them end their homelessness.”
Concerned about the safety of people who would otherwise have to spend the storm outside, staff members from across the agency, like team assistants, data specialists and case managers, volunteered to work extra shifts to provide support and make sure that everyone who arrived at Crossroads was properly cared for.
One staff member in particular, Gayle, was so concerned about making it in for her shift on Saturday morning that she slept on a couch in our Women’s Shelter Friday night!
At our nearby emergency shelter at 371 Pine Street, Crossroads staff leapt into action to keep the clients comfortable and occupied as the storm continued on.
Front Desk Advocate Daynah, who works weekend shifts at Crossroads, planned fun activities for our shelter clients, including dancing, playing board games, and brewing up hot coffee to keep everyone warm.
While Daynah provided the fun, Case Manager Amy worked with clients on their housing applications to help ensure that they would not need to spend another snowstorm in a shelter.
Meanwhile, at the NYLO hotel, Crossroads clients hunkered down, requesting cleaning supplies to tidy their rooms.
Vice President Jennifer Watkins and Director of Front Desk and Adult Shelter Services Terry Luzzato personally went to the supermarket and purchased additional food for the NYLO shelter guests to make sure everyone had enough supplies for the weekend.
The frontline team went to each room throughout the day to check on the individuals and families staying there. Many staff members worked triple shifts that day to care for Crossroads’ clients.
As in many other parts of the state, snow piled so high around Harrington Hall and road conditions became so dangerous that our second shift staff could not drive safely to work.
Our first shift staff members 74-year-old Shelter Assistant Cornell and his co-worker Ed rose to the challenge, however, assuring their manager that they would have no problem working a triple in order to keep the men staying at Harrington Hall safe through the storm.
“This isn’t my first rodeo,” said Cornell with a smile.
These are just a few of the dedicated Crossroads staff members who go above and beyond to help our clients, not just during blizzards, but every day. Our amazing team truly exemplifies our three core values of safety, respect and effectiveness and are committed to our mission of helping homeless and at-risk people and secure stable homes.