Rhode Island adds 130 shelter beds, quarantine facility for homeless

Rhode Island is funding an additional 130 emergency shelter beds and reopening a COVID-19 quarantine facility for people dealing with homelessness, Gov. Daniel McKee announced Thursday.

The new beds are being added at shelters in four cities: Amos House in Pawtucket is adding 80 beds, House of Hope in East Providence is adding 25, Open Doors in Providence will add 15 and the Community Care Alliance in Woonsocket is adding 10 hotel vouchers this week.

The new funding is in addition to $5 million invested by the state last month. That effort has led to 220 new beds in about six weeks, McKee said.

"But we knew more was needed," McKee said in a statement. "It is crucial that we provide shelter to get Rhode Islanders off the streets — now."

Along with the shelter expansion, a quarantine and isolation facility is reopening in Providence for housing insecure individuals and families who test positive for COVID-19. It will offer 20 beds and is being done with the help of the state's Episcopal Diocese and West Bay CAP.

Opening the quarantine facility will allow other shelters to restore capacity they lost due to social distancing requirements, McKee said.

Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien thanked the McKee administration for listening to those who have been affected by homelessness.

"Individuals and families in Pawtucket and across the state are struggling as services have been taken away over the past couple of years," Grebien said in a statement. "The extra shelter capacity is a beginning to addressing the current issues."