Rhode Island shelter expanding to support 5 more families

Cold homeless man outside Crossroads

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island shelter for homeless families is expanding so it can support five additional families.

Lucy’s Hearth in Middletown is an emergency and transitional shelter for homeless women and children and one of just four in the state that houses families.

The shelter was in a former convent, with space for 10 families, but on Thursday a ribbon-cutting is scheduled for a new facility in town that can accommodate 15 families and has space for additional services.

Rhode Island currently has a wait list for families seeking shelter, and families can sometimes wait weeks to be placed.

The four shelters collectively have about 150 beds, but that doesn’t always mean they can accommodate 150 people.

Families generally have a room. An available bed may be in another family’s space.