Rhode Island Housing to move residents of Safe Haven

Rhode Island Housing to move residents of Safe Haven

PAWTUCKET - Rhode Island Housing officials announced on Thursday that they will close the Safe Haven shelter on Slater Street after moving the 17 residents there into new residential programs. Safe Haven provides housing and services for chronically homeless adults.

The move, according to Michael Milito, deputy assistant director of Rhode Island House, “will provide for stability and reflect emerging best practices and policies.”

Working closely with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which provides funds for continuous care, Rhode Island Housing officials are putting together plans for each of the Safe Haven’s 17 residents.

“Our goal is to create stable environments for the residents and transition them in an orderly and responsible manner,” said Milito. “We are establishing housing environments and supportive services programs for the residents that meet their particular service needs and are sustainable over the long term - in keeping with both policy and funding trends.”

Rhode Island Housing has been providing oversight of the administration of the Safe Haven program for the past five months after it was revealed that the Urban League of Rhode Island could not maintain the program.

The Urban League had been utilizing HUD funds to operate Safe Haven. In October of 2013, Rhode Island Housing program staff expressed concern that the Safe Haven program was not being properly administered, according to Milito.

Despite efforts by Rhode Island Housing to help, the situation continued to deteriorate. Last December, Rhode Island Housing officials took control of the administration of the home and notified state and federal authorities about their concerns.