Family shelter returning to operations in Warwick

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Back open under new management. Those words bring a certain kind of relief after several families had to leave the roof over their heads two months ago.

The old Rhode Island Family Shelter reopened Friday with a new name: the Crossroads Warwick Family Shelter.

The state’s largest homeless services organization took over management from the previous operator after it closed July 6 due to financial problems.

“I’m happy that it’s open, that we can provide services to the families,” said Crossroads Rhode Island president Karen Santilli. “It’s not easy and it’s not cheap to run these kinds of programs and to get families housed.”

The facility can accommodate ten families, though they’re each limited to a stay of thirty days. Seven families were forced out when it closed; six are now coming in with the Friday opening.

Mayor Scott Avedisian was part of the effort to find a new operator after the July closure. Though Crossroads is taking over with its name on the facility, “It didn’t matter to the board whose name was on the program or who’s running it; they were true to their mission of sheltering families.

The facility will cost half a million dollars a year to run, and employ seven people; some who will transfer from elsewhere in the non-profit, but others will be freshly hired. “I think with merging this program into Crossroads programs, there will be some savings,” said Santilli.

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