WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Crossroads Rhode Island has opened four new apartments for those in need as the state works to address its homeless crisis.
The nonprofit held a ribbon-cutting Wednesday after transforming the former Warwick Family Shelter into modern family apartments. The Beach Avenue homes have between one and three bedrooms.
The renovations were funded primarily by $1.5 million in Building Homes Rhode Island bonds from the state’s housing department.
Officials said the newest completed project is an example of how underutilized properties can be used for housing.
“We can solve homelessness if we stay committed to housing,” Crossroads President Michelle Wilcox said. “We had an incredible opportunity when we took this building over and it turned into an even greater opportunity.”
Wilcox told 12 News the Bezos Day One Fund gave Crossroads the funding they needed to clear a backlog of families waiting for shelter.
Crossroads said it provided 4,000 people with housing-related services last year. Of those, 1,184 were able to find a new home. They’re seeing similar success this year, they said.
Michelle Lee, one of the new tenants, was beaming with joy after getting a glimpse of her new home.
“I am so excited. My kids are finally stable,” she said. “These guys don’t understand how important that is as a single mom, to know that your kids finally have somewhere to be that they call home.”
“When I say it’s priceless, it’s priceless,” she added. “There’s no amount of money that can give your kids that happiness.”