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WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — With the Cranston Street Armory in Providence closing Monday, the state is working to find a new place for homeless people to stay.
Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi wrote on Facebook saying he was informed by the state that 55 homeless people would be housed at the Motel 6 on Jefferson Boulevard. This is in addition to the 40 people who have been living there since the fall.
For the new rooms, first preference would be given to those staying at the Cranston Street Armory. The agency OpenDoors RI will start moving them in this week.
Last week Picozzi met with R.I. Housing Secretary Stefan Pryor and members of the city’s police and fire command staff to talk about onsite staff, security, and other aid that residents would need.
“My public safety officials showed statistics and data on increased calls for service at Motel 6 since the Fall and last year when the Nylo Hotel was being used as a shelter,” Picozzi wrote.
“Our concern is that our resources and manning are stretched thin already and more calls could lead to having additional personnel working on some shifts or days which would be very expensive for the city but necessary for public safety,” he continued.
Picozzi added he met with Gov. Dan McKee Wednesday about concerns that the additional people will strain the police and fire departments.
“I said that this could end up being very expensive for the city and he agreed and was very receptive to try to work out some type of reimbursement arrangement. He asked for some additional information which we are putting together and then we’ll meet again,” Picozzi wrote.
In a statement, Pryor told 12 News the motel represents one of the steps they’re taking to address homelessness in the state.
The armory opened late last year to provide temporary 24-hour warming shelter to homeless people during the winter months. It was previously decided to not become permanent because of the burden it placed on the neighborhood.
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