Connect with us


Homeless in RI: Dignity Bus inspected, Pawtucket to expand, Encampments moving, DaVinci waits




Dignity Bus, Woonsocket

Update: The Dignity Bus RI was taken to Miller’s Auto for inspections and possible repairs, and the group extended its thanks to the work of Woonsocket’s Personnel Director, Mark Ferguson, and Secretary of Housing, Stefan Pryor’s efforts to secure a trucking union volunteer, Tom McCaughey. Valerie Gonzalez, Woonsocket City Council member let’s us know that she has “Good News! It passed with flying colors. No repairs needed.”

On to Illinois! – The success of The Dignity Bus in Florida – and its newest location in Woonsocket – is now about to be replicated in Illinois – with the Illinois Fortitude Community Outreach project where a bus has been ordered for their community.

After the team from Florida left Woonsocket, it was on to Illinois. On June 28th, the Florida bus was serving approximately 33 people at night in a heat emergency for those without housing.

The Community care Alliance, charged with implementing the Dignity Bus program is organizing for its #ShelterWalk event on September 30th, 2023 as participants will walk one mile of the route an unhoused person might take to access services in downtown Woonsocket. Follow CCA on social media for updates on how you can get involved, meantime save the date:

Providence encampment by Davinci Center

Mayor Smiley went on the WPRO Gene Valicenti show this week and said he needs 2 weeks to clean up the encampments. There are 3 areas, one of which is down to 4 “residents” as opposed to the 20 or so tents that are there. There is a small privately owned piece of property and the city is working with the owner to secure that land. All in all the situation should be resolved in 2 weeks on all pieces of that encampment. Smiley also acknowledges that there are other encampments in Providence.

This interview took place after Valicenti visited the camp on his own – here his description of what he encountered.

Here is the podcast of the Mayor with Valicenti:

Two weeks is one week away, August 9th.



Mayor Grebien states he wants to double the services for the homeless provided by Open Doors by obtaining another building, in addition to the one on Main Street at the Providence line. Presently the group there provides heating/cooling center services and sleeps up to 31 at night, chosen by lottery each day. Grebien told the Providence Journal, about his expansion plans: “We want to make this a little corner of transitional housing,” he said.


Providence encampment, private property owned by Paolino Properties

Last week notification was given to a group living on private, Paolino Properties owned, property that they had to vacate their tent encampment. Staff of the company asked for police to accompany them to let them know that they would be removed in a few days, and the Cranston Police did go with them. Notification was given, though most seem to have vacated the area. Those remained talked about difficulty in finding a location if they were a couple, or if they had Pets. Others said they simply didn’t want to go, even though some had vouchers or places to go. One person said he would go and live with his mother who lived very close by. A few days later the company returned and cleaned up the area. The area was near where a closed shopping center was and where an announcement happened yesterday that a new Tesla facility would be housed, providing repairs, etc.


It is 52 days until the first day of fall, September 23rd, 2023

It is 141 days until the first day of winter, December 21, 2023