We have been working to reform the State’s response to chronic homelessness from a passive, perpetual warehousing of homeless persons to an active, forward-looking effort to transform the lives of chronically homeless people to enable them to move into stable housing and productive roles in society.
After managing Harrington Hall emergency shelter for 5 years, we are successfully transforming this former so-called “shelter of last resort” to a Rapid Assessment and Rehousing Center.
Last year we served 998 individuals at Harrington Hall. We helped 81 men leave the shelter and move to permanent housing. Another 61 moved to a more stable housing situation and took critical steps to prepare for permanent housing, such as entering inpatient treatment, transitional housing, and other residential programs. Approximately 450 individuals participated in case management, a number that has increased each year since we took over the shelter.
This year we kicked off day programming at Harrington Hall’s Rapid Assessment and Rehousing Center, providing social services and support groups during the day. The Rhode Island General Assembly approved $1.5 million in Capital Funds to make facilities improvements to the building in the coming year, including upgrades to the bathrooms, heating and ventilation, the roof, and installing kitchen facilities. In only the first year of Harrington Hall’s day programming, we provided over 700 service transactions, including individual counseling, needs assessment and goal planning, support groups, and services on-site from other social service organizations such as psychiatrists, nurses, and substance abuse treatment providers.
In the Evening:
We typically serve 100-120 men each night in this 88-bed facility. Shelter guests are provided with a clean and safe place to sleep, dinner, and the opportunity for a shower in the morning. Well-trained professional staff are available to engage shelter guests in services, triage their immediate basic needs, maintain health and safety in the facility, and connect guests with our case management staff. Generally the shelter is open from 5pm until 7am. At times we open earlier, stay open later, or remain open all day due to inclement weather or excessive heat. In the average year, we provide approximately 35,000 bed-nights and serve nearly 40,000 meals at Harrington Hall.
In the day time:
Comprehensive social services are available during the day time hours to provide the opportunity for homeless individuals to access case management as well as support and educational groups. The design of this program allows for comprehensive, client-centered and intensive case management such as developing a housing goal plan; accessing mainstream resources such as healthcare, disability benefits and SNAP benefits; coordination of substance abuse services through the Access to Recovery Program. In addition, educational and support groups are available such as Anger Management, Relationships Group, Alcohol & Drug Education, Writing Group, Art Group, and Homeless Support Group. Community service providers are available regularly on-site as well, such as the Homeless Legal Clinic, RI Homeless Advocacy Project, Homeless Speakers Bureau, psychiatrists, nurses, flu clinics, and more.