Diocese thanked for helping homeless



At the close of the winter season, I want to acknowledge Bishop Thomas Tobin, the Office of Community Services and Catholic Charities, and the St. Martin de Porres Senior Center for their assistance to those who are homeless.

As the site of a hypothermia shelter from November through March, this facility literally saved the lives of those who had no shelter at the end of the day. Diocesan financial support for Amos House, the agency operating the shelter, was also crucial. Combined with funding from the United Way of Rhode Island, this donation helped to pay for staffing and supplies.

This shelter came about through outreach by Bishop Tobin. As we experienced an escalation in homelessness last fall, diocesan employee Jim Jahnz, coordinator of Project Hope/Proyecto Esperanza, a member of our Office of Homelessness, relayed Bishop Tobin’s willingness to provide resources for winter shelter. With the cooperation of John Barry, Secretary for Community Services and Catholic Services and his staff, opening the shelter was a very smooth and timely process. Within two weeks of the Bishop’s offer, 30 people had a warm and safe place to spend the night.

We want to express special appreciation to Esther Price, the Director of St. Martin de Porres. Sharing space with the shelter was not easy, but she graciously accommodated all of our needs.

We wanted to publicly express our gratitude for this crucial work that was done so quietly, but so effectively. We are very grateful for all of Bishop Tobin’s support for affordable housing and efforts to alleviate homelessness.

Noreen Shawcross

Chief, Office of Housing and Community Development