BURRILLVILLE – With a building in Cranston that has served as a shelter for many homeless in the state soon slated to close, officials are reportedly planning to relocate up to ten families to vacant cottage buildings on the campus of Burrillville’s Zambarano hospital.
According to a report on Monday, the Tri-County Community Action Agency sent a letter of interest pointing to three vacant cottages at the hospital, with knowledge that the state was looking for new places to accommodate around 150 people currently staying at the Cranston Street Armory. The armory, known as a warming center, is slated to close on Monday, May 15.
The cottages were previously used by Phoenix House for substance-abuse recovery for adolescents and teens, and also served as space for quarantine during the pandemic, according to state officials.
The buildings are in need of repair, and the state is now evaluating what work will be needed to make the structures habitable. The cottages are part of the sprawling Wallum Lake Road campus that has long served patients in need of long-term acute care as a unit of Eleanor Slater Hospital, run by the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals.
BHDDH Director Richard Charest reportedly supports the plan.
According to an article in the Providence Journal, BHDDH officials said the buildings will eventually serve as, “Enhanced Mental Health Psychiatric Rehabilitative Residences,” for adults who need 24-hour supervision and support, but who do not require hospital level of care.
State Housing Secretary Stefan Pryor told the Journal that Tri-County is exploring possibilities regarding transportation.