PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The state is pushing back its deadline to phase out the 24-hour warming station at the Cranston Street Armory.
The warming station moved into the Cranston Street Armory late last year to provide temporary shelter to the homeless during the winter months. The state’s contract with the Cranston Street Armory is set to expire April 15.
R.I. Housing Secretary Stefan Pryor and Amos House CEO Eileen Hayes reassured Providence residents Thursday night that the Cranston Street Armory won’t become a permanent homeless shelter, though the state might need more time wind down operations.
“All I’m asking is to let us work to get folks to the best place they can be as quickly as we can,” Hayes said.
Residents have repeatedly expressed concerns over increased in drug use and litter in the neighborhood and in Dexter Park, which is right across the street from the Cranston Street Armory.
Pryor said he recognizes the burden that the warming station has placed on the neighborhood, which is one of the reasons why he doesn’t want to see the Cranston Street Armory become a permanent shelter.
The state recently funded other emergency shelters in Pawtucket and Newport, according to Pryor. It has also added more beds at shelters across Rhode Island.
Pryor said the state is working to identify potential locations for additional shelters, adding that the state put out the call for places and agencies to submit properties where those currently staying at the Cranston Street Armory could relocate to.
Right now, the state expects to be out of the Cranston Street Armory by the end of April.