Dear Friends, Crossroads Rhode Island’s Housing First model is working. While homelessness is on the rise in other New England states, Rhode Island successfully achieved a slight decrease in homelessness over the last several years. Thanks to your support of Crossroads’ work and our Housing First focus, more people are being housed—and staying housed—than ever before.
We are proud to present you with our 2018 Annual Report. This report highlights the outcomes achieved in our ongoing efforts to help individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Rhode Island secure stable homes. These outcomes would not be possible without the support of our very generous donors and funders, also highlighted in this report.
Aligned with our values of Safety, Respect and Effectiveness, Crossroads takes our fiduciary responsibilities in managing funds received for our work very seriously. We are proud to report that 87 percent of every dollar raised supports programs and services for individuals and families served by Crossroads. We are also pleased to report that our independent auditors, Citrin Cooperman, conducted a full fiscal audit and found no reportable conditions.
2018 was an exciting year in that we were invited to apply for, and ultimately awarded, a grant from the Bezos family’s Day 1 Families Fund in November 2018. This grant not only validated our good work, but also provided us with a tremendous opportunity to significantly reduce the number of families experiencing homelessness in Rhode Island. With a renewed commitment to creating more affordable housing and appropriately funding programs and services, Crossroads will be able to help ensure that incidents of family homelessness are rare and of short duration.
Of course, we couldn’t do what we do without the ongoing support of generous local businesses, charitable foundations and individual donors. Rhode Island truly lives up to the words of Mahatma Gandhi, who once said that “the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” We are incredibly grateful that so many find it in their hearts to help those who are less fortunate.
– Jack McConnell, Chairman, Crossroads Rhode Island, Board of Directors
– Karen A. Santilli, President & CEO, Crossroads Rhode Island
In 2018, Crossroads and the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless partnered to create the Coordinated Entry System (CES) for those experiencing homelessness in Rhode Island. The CES is a new Federal mandate that requires the state’s homeless services providers to better integrate their efforts to achieve the following goals.
As part of the CES, Crossroads meets with individuals or families to understand their specific circumstances and housing or service needs. Evidence-informed assessment tools score clients on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, the following:
Their homelessness is usually caused by a combination of factors, such as the loss of a job, not being able to find work and lack of a support system. In 2018, Crossroads provided emergency shelter to more than 2,000 individuals at the various shelters we operate statewide. Crossroads’ six shelters are low-barrier and housing focused.
This shelter provides emergency shelter and support for up to 15 families.
The only emergency shelter in the state for couples without children. Couples receive intensive case management in scattered site apartments.
Because domestic violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness among women, Crossroads provides a 24/7 hotline and emergency shelter in a confidential, safe house location. In 2018, we answered more than 1,000 hotline calls and helped 124 domestic violence survivors and 65 children.
The largest shelter in the state, accomodates up to 112 men nightly.
In 2018, as part of our Housing First philosophy, we made the decision to redevelop our Warwick Family Shelter, which used to provide emergency shelter for up to ten families experiencing homelessness. To provide more families with an affordable place to call home, we will be converting 10 shelter rooms into four, permanent apartments for families.
Shelters up to 41 women in ten, shared bedrooms, one wheelchair accessible bedroom, a common living room and outdoor patio area.
Crossroads Rhode Island is the leading provider of housing and services to the homeless in Rhode Island. A strong body of research shows that once a person has been stabilized in housing, they are much more successful in addressing the issues that caused them to become homeless in the first place. That’s why helping at-risk individuals and families secure stable housing is our passion, not just our mission, here at Crossroads.
To help people find a place to call home as quickly as possible, Crossroads owns or manages more than 370 residences statewide.
"We do housing like nobody else for this population,” said Michelle Wilcox, Crossroads’ Chief Operating Officer. “It’s very unusual to be a service provider and property owner, developer and manager. But if we didn’t develop, many of the people we serve would find it extremely difficult to find housing. There’s never enough affordable housing.”
Crossroads' housing development is unique in that 100% of the homes and apartments we build and renovate provide permanent supportive housing exclusively for those who have experienced homelessness. Due to the chronic shortage of affordable housing in Rhode Island, it is also in high demand. Individuals have an average length-of-stay in Crossroads' housing of 3.7 years and a 96 percent occupancy rate.
To supplement our housing portfolio, we also maintain strong working relationships with local landlords. This allows us to provide housing solutions that are appropriate for a variety of households, including:
In November, we were beyond excited to have been one of the 24 nonprofits across the country—the only nonprofit in New England— to receive a one-time grant from the Day 1 Families Fund established by Amazon.com Founder Jeff Bezos and his family.
The Day 1 Families Fund stated that Crossroads was carefully selected as a “national model” and “needlemoving” organization that is supporting families experiencing homelessness. We were both humbled and incredibly grateful to see our work recognized in this way.
The one-time grant, which is restricted to families experiencing homelessness, is already significantly decreasing family homelessness in Rhode Island. In mid- 2018, there were 400 Rhode Island families on the state’s waiting list for shelter. By the end of the year, that number was reduced significantly and continues to decline.
In 2018, the Day 1 funds allowed Crossroads to scale up its programs and services for families experiencing homelessness. Longer-term, Crossroads hopes to leverage the funds to help develop more housing that families can afford.
Like most non-profits, Crossroads relies on a variety of sources to fund our housing, shelters, services and programs. These include, but are not limited to the following sources.
“In 2018, Crossroads raised or earned $18.5 million in revenue, including a one-time $5 million grant from the Day 1 Families Fund,” said Laurie Devlin, Chief Financial Officer. “Expenses for our operations, housing, shelters and services and programs totaled $14.5 million. As responsible stewards of the funds that we raise, we are proud of the fact that 87 cents of every dollar spent supports programs and services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Rhode Island.”
Although Crossroads receives federal, state and local funding, we must raise additional private funds each year to cover the actual costs of our housing programs and services. We simply could not do what we do without the unwavering support of charitable foundations, our socially-responsible corporate partners and caring individual donors, like Francis.
“Each year, we receive a plain envelope, full of cash, from someone named Francis,” said Laura Calenda, Chief Marketing & Philanthropy Officer. “Francis never includes a last name or return address, so we’ve never been able to acknowledge this donor properly, although we’re deeply moved by their generous spirit. If you’re reading this, Francis, the 3,500+ individuals and families who received services at Crossroads last year thank you!”
Whether you are a long-time donor, or someone lending support for the first time, you all have one thing in common; you wanted to do something to help people experiencing homelessness. For that, we are eternally grateful. Thank you!