Lucy’s Hearth opens expanded Middletown shelter

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — A longtime shelter for Rhode Island women and children is expanding into a new larger building to accommodate more people in need.

Officials from Lucy’s Hearth and local lawmakers cut the ribbon on the new shelter on Valley Road in Middletown Thursday morning. The organization dates back to 1984 as a shelter and focuses on making families in need self-sufficient.

The 9,300 square foot facility features 14 bedrooms with private bathrooms, two large family suites, modern kitchens and pantries, recreational rooms, a computer lab, management offices, and even playgrounds.

A former resident of the shelter, Tara D’Ambra, expressed her excitement at the new facility. “It is very scary when you are homeless coming to a shelter with your kids… I am so happy for all the families who get to move into this top-notch facility; happy, not because they are homeless, but because I know they will get the help they need.”

Rhode Island senior Sen. Jack Reed helped secure grants for homelessness assistance through laws like the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009. He spoke at the ribbon cutting Thursday, commending the work the organization does. President of the State Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed also congratulated the efforts to open the new center: “Their new home will enable Lucy’s Hearth to increase capacity while providing a greater continuum of services in a more cost-effective setting.”

Mothers and children in need can get daily meals, mental health referral and advocacy, life skills and financial education, and more at the center.

The new property was acquired in June of last year. Lucy’s Hearth is still running a fundraising campaign to finish paying for the renovations.