EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island is earmarking $5 million for the creation of 275 additional beds for people dealing with homelessness, Gov. Daniel McKee announced Wednesday.
“As we can feel by the chill in the air, winter is right around the corner and there are too many Rhode Islanders who are sleeping on the streets or in their cars — and we must do everything we can to get these individuals and families into emergency shelter," the Democratic governor said at a news conference in East Providence.
Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said the spending could go toward investments in existing shelters to provide more “food services and other support services and staffing to carry out the work.”
“Hotel rooms may be converted for the purpose,” he said.
The money will be distributed by state’s housing offices to organizations already working with people without permanent shelter, such as Crossroads RI, he said.
According to the state’s Homeless Management Information System, 575 people have lived in a “place not meant for human habitation” over the last 30 days.
The number of people waiting for shelter totaled 1,078 as of Oct. 30, including 152 households with children, the Rhode Island Coalition to End Homelessness said.