Preliminary reports indicate that Community Care Alliance, and the Vida Church have entered into an “arrangement” to provide a warming facility & shelter for weather events impacting the unhoused, in Woonsocket. The cost to provide these services will be underwritten by the Rhode Island Department of Housing, primarily via the Municipal Homelessness Support Fund. Numerous questions have arisen: The absence of any procurement process, RFQ or bid submission. Financial irregularities that have plagued Vida Church. The ethics of a Woonsocket City Councilperson engaged in business ostensibly, at some level with the City. The lack of any demonstrated capacity, or experience in delivering services to the unhoused.

In a Press Release issued by Governor McKee early Friday morning, detailing locations of emergency pop-up shelters, Vida Church, in a description unlike any other warming center, was listed as an overflow location.


What Is Known?

The City of Woonsocket appears to be acting as a “Pass Through” for funds awarded by the State of Rhode Island to Community Care Alliance & Vida Church.


What Is Unclear?

According to Woonsocket City Officials, Vida Church will act as an “overflow” facility if/when CCA is unable to meet the available space needs of the unhoused/housing insecure population in Woonsocket, during a weather event. What is unclear is the level of occupancy that would trigger overflow to Vida Church.

What is Unknown?

In the weather event early in 2023, Vida Church request to shelter the unhoused/occupancy permit was apparently rejected by the Woonsocket Fire Department. It is unknown whether the conditions that existed at the time have been resolved, and if an inspection has taken place.

The ethics & legalities surrounding a Woonsocket City Councilor engaging in a contractual agreement to provide services within the City of Woonsocket, that are fundamentally governmental in nature.

The lack of any institutional expertise in providing any level of Housing, Food Preparation, Physical Care, or Harm Reduction to the affected population. Ongoing issues with the Gonzalez Vanity Project-Dignity Bus do little to assuage concerns. The most poorly kept secret in Woonsocket political circles revolves around her near obsession with employing city funds under the umbrella of a privately held Church … a Church whose financial problems recently manifested itself in the form of unpaid sewer bills.

The need? Requirement? To engage in some form of RFQ or bid process. The $101K budget appears to be in excess of Woonsocket City Charter rules requiring City Council approval. The pass-through nature of the allocation from the State appears to muddy those waters. And as sub grantee receives less than 100K, that point may be moot.

Additionally? Application letters by CCA & Vida Church were drafted on December 3rd & 4th of last year, allowing for an RFQ/Bid Process to take place at some level … A process that did not occur.

The Coalition has reached out to Woonsocket City Hall Staff, as well as housing advocates for additional information.



The documentation below was delivered in the form of a PDF file. Please use the up/down arrows in the upper left hand corner of the document to scroll through.
Woonsocket Winter Hub Application


Press Release – Governor Dan McKee

Rhode Island is Ready: Governor McKee Outlines State’s Storm Preparedness Efforts Ahead of Weekend Snow

Rhode Island is fully prepared to respond to the first significant winter storm of the season that is expected to impact the state this weekend. Today, Governor Dan McKee provided an update on his Administration’s preparedness efforts.
A winter storm watch is in effect from Saturday afternoon through Sunday night. The latest models predict that light snow will begin between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday with the heaviest snow period occurring between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday. We are expecting snowfall totals to range from 1 to 10 inches across various sections of Rhode Island.
  • The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will have crews report for duty three to four hours ahead of the expected storm start time to pre-treat roads. RIDOT has more than 425 plows available for the storm, an increase in resources from previous winter seasons. RIDOT is fully stocked with 65,000 tons of salt. There will also be extra tow trucks on standby to quickly clear any potential disabled vehicles in the Washington Bridge bypass lanes.
  • The Office of Energy Resources is in contact with Rhode Island Energy (RIE) and the state’s delivered fuel terminals to closely monitor the storm’s impact on power and fuel supplies across the state. RIE is adding 65 external line crews on top of their 50 internal line crews to support swift power restoration efforts. RIE is also bringing in 60 forestry management teams to help with downed trees and other vegetation. RIE will open its storm room on Saturday and will be using Bally’s in Lincoln as a staging site as Northern Rhode Island is expected to receive the most significant snowfall.
  • The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) is in communication with municipal leaders and local emergency management agencies across the state to ensure communities have the necessary support in place. RIEMA will coordinate situational updates to state government, municipalities and other partners throughout the weekend. RIEMA’s list of local warming centers can be found here: []

The Department of Housing announced locations of emergency pop-up shelters that will be open to Rhode Islanders in need. These are in addition to the state’s existing shelter network. Locations include:

  • Newport: MLK Community Center, 20 Dr. Marcus Wheatland Blvd, Newport, RI 02840
  • Peace Dale (South Kingstown): Welcome House, 8 North Rd, Peace Dale, RI 02879
  • Providence: Crossroads RI Community Room, 160 Broad St, Providence, RI 02903
  • Westerly: WARM Center, 56 Spruce St, Westerly, RI 02891
  • West Warwick: West Warwick Civic Center, 100 Factory St, West Warwick, RI 02893
  • Woonsocket: CCA, 66 Social St, Woonsocket, RI 02895 Overflow: Vida Church 120 Prospect St, Woonsocket, RI 02895
  • Rhode Island State Police is fully staffed and troopers are standing by to assist motorists and provide assistance on roads and wherever elsewhere they are needed.
Tips for safe driving this weekend:
  • Make sure car brakes, tires and batteries are in good condition.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel during storms, especially when snowfall is the heaviest.
  • Remove all snow from your car before driving.
  • Plan additional time for travel.
  • Reduce speed – most of the crashes and disabled vehicles we see during winter storms involve motorists driving too fast for the conditions.
  • Provide plenty of stopping distance in front of you.
  • Avoid distractions – put the cell phone away.
  • Don’t crowd the plow or pass plow trucks, plow drivers have limited visibility and maneuverability.
  • Take note that parking bans may be in effect.

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