Lucy’s Hearth wins $20,000 to help residents stay housed this winter

Lucy’s Hearth in Middletown is among eight nonprofits across the state to receive $20,000 grants from the Rhode Island Foundation to help residents stay housed this winter. The organization was selected because it regularly works with people who are homeless or in danger of losing their homes due to relatively small expenses.

“Those organizations will use our grants to provide people with direct assistance for minor, unexpected, temporary or one-time costs like car repairs, utility bills, clothing for a job or crucial medication without which they might lose their housing. Not losing a job because your car needs work could be the difference between staying housed or losing your place to live,” said David N. Cicilline, the Foundation’s president and CEO.

Amos House, Community Care Alliance, House of Hope, Sojourner House, Thrive Behavioral Healthcare, the Tri-County Community Action Program and the WARM Center are the other nonprofits that were selected to receive the funding because of their statewide coverage and their experience providing services to Rhode Islanders who are housing insecure.

“With this funding, we will be able to fill essential gaps in financial support for families. Many times, we are able to work through all barriers for housing, but families still struggle to pay rental application fees, deposits and back-owed utilities. This will enable us to bridge that gap and move people into housing as soon as it is available to them,” said Ashley Salemi Tarvis, executive director of Lucy’s Hearth.

At the same time, the Foundation is launching its new Path Home Fund, which gives the public a way to donate to this effort. The Foundation is accepting gifts to the fund via its website at The public can also mail a check or money order donation payable to “Path Home Fund” to the Rhode Island Foundation, One Union Station, Providence, RI 02903.

“With winter nearing, we are giving Rhode Islanders a simple, secure way to join us in contributing to organizations that have proven track records of helping people find and maintain a roof over their heads,” said Cicilline.

The Foundation’s announcements come as the state Department of Housing moves forward with its plan to expand support for Housing Problem Solving services by investing $750,000 in flexible financial assistance plus $1 million to support programs that provide vital housing-related counseling services.

According to the state Department of Housing, the $1.75 million will aim to serve approximately 350 households with timely interventions to prevent increased entry or lengthy stays in costly shelter programs. Housing Problem Solving focuses on creative solutions for Rhode Islanders as they work to resolve their housing crisis. State-funded financial assistance can be used to help with things like security deposits, first-month’s rent, utility deposits and groceries.

“We thank the Rhode Island Foundation for stepping up in response to the request for investments in upstream efforts focused on preventing instances of homelessness before they even start,” said Housing Secretary Stefan Pryor. “We are also grateful to Governor McKee and the legislature for continuing to provide resources that the Department of Housing can invest in efforts like housing problem solving.”




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