Mayor of Apponaug

When I first came to House of Hope CDC, I was tired of living on the streets and wanted to turn my life around. I’m the guy you’ve probably heard of who six years ago was crushed by a garbage truck when the dumpster I was sleeping in was emptied in before I could scream for help. I was a broken man – physically and emotionally. But I knew I couldn’t go back to the life I was living, so I took all the steps needed to survive – I went through the emergency shelter, I moved into a supportive housing program called Conway at House of Hope, and eventually I moved into my own apartment thanks to House of Hope CDC. Living at the Thomas Wilbur Homestead, part of House of Hope’s permanent housing, has changed my life. The property is beautiful. We cook for ourselves, clean for ourselves, and have our own space. I feel like I am on my own. It’s a little scary; it’s a lot of trust. But we still have an amazing support system.  I have purpose in life and look forward to each day. I take pride in my apartment, but also in my neighborhood. Come by – you’ll probably see me out there raking, shoveling, watering the plants, sweeping the sidewalk, chatting with neighbors while I help unload their groceries, or walking to local shops. Every year I put up all of the holiday decorations and Christmas lights.   Earlier this year, I got a letter of thanks from the Apponaug Area Improvement Association thanking me for what I do to keep...

Peer Mentors Use New Lifesaving Skills to Revive Unconscious Shelter Resident

House of Hope’s Peer Mentor program, a job-readiness program for homeless men and women, includes training in advanced first aid SHORTLY AFTER  10 P.M. ON COLUMBUS DAY, 2015, Regina Perreault, a House of Hope supervisor at Harrington Hall, the big homeless shelter in Cranston, discovered one of the residents unconscious in a shower room. As she phoned 911 to summon paramedics, Perreault also called for Kyle,* 45, another resident of the shelter, to follow her into the shower area. “The gentleman had a bluish, gray color,” Kyle recalls, “and I turned him over to see if he was breathing. He wasn’t.” Kyle applied two strong “rescue breaths,” but still the man didn’t respond. So Kyle began full CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). A fellow resident, Thomas, took the man’s pulse, but couldn’t feel one. Knowing the man had a drug history, Perreault called for Lawton, 29, a resident who was lying on his bunk in the vast rows of beds at the shelter.   She knew Lawton was equipped with Narcan, the drug overdose antidote. Rushing to the shower area, Lawton got ready to administer the antidote, but the needle wasn’t working. He turned to Thomas, who also had a Narcan rescue kit. Lawton calmly plunged the needle into the man, as Kyle continued CPR. Within seconds, Lawton says, the man “came back to life.” By the time the rescue unit arrived, the once-unconscious resident was on his feet, claiming that he was “fine.” To the contrary, Lawton told him, he had to go with the paramedics: “We brought you back from the dead.”      Program provides intensive training HOW WAS IT...

Bank of America Grant to Launch Jobs Plan

House of Hope has been awarded the prestigious “Neighborhood Builders” grant by Bank of America, a $200,000 contribution over two years that will jumpstart a food services job-training program at House of Hope’s Harrington Hall shelter in Cranston. “We’re very grateful for all the work that House of Hope does, and you truly help those in tremendous need,” said Bill Hatfield, Rhode Island Market President for Bank of America, in presenting the grant at a Providence ceremony on Nov. 10. Click here to watch video slideshow of award ceremony “You’ve always been there for us,” said Jean M. Johnson, House of Hope’s executive director, saying Bank for America “has been part of our organization for 26 years, with grants year after year, with board members, with volunteers supporting our events.’’ The award comes as House of Hope is developing a vocational training program for homeless men and women, which is to be centered around the refurbished kitchen and dining areas at Harrington Hall, which is undergoing extensive renovation by the state. Under the plan, shelter residents and other homeless people will operate the kitchen under the direction of a professional chef-educator, preparing meals for the 140 men who stay at the shelter. The training and work experience, in turn, will help participants gain jobs in Rhode Island’s nationally-recognized restaurants and related food services businesses. A potential second phase would be a commercial cafeteria serving the Pastore center, which currently has no central restaurant for the hundreds of people who work at and visit various state agencies housed on the sprawling complex in Cranston.                                                                                            New Role for Harrington Hall...