Lucy’s Hearth recently celebrated the grand opening of their new facility for homeless women and children with a ribbon cutting ceremony. For over 30 years, Lucy’s Hearth has provided shelter and critical human services to women and children experiencing homelessness in the same building, which was no longer suitable for the vulnerable women and children they serve.

NCA Principals Glenn Gardiner and Dan Kwasniewski joined Senator Jack Reed, Congressman David Cicilline, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, Rhode Island Housing Executive Director Barbara Fields, Lucy’s Hearth’s Staff and Board in the celebration.

Located at 19 Valley Road in Middletown, R.I. the new facility boasts over 9,300 square feet of space and is situated on 2.2 acres. Redeveloped by Church Community Housing, Lucy’s Hearth worked with NCA for a completely refurbished interior and grounds improvement that includes:

  • 14 sizeable bedroom units each with private bathrooms
  • 2 two-bedroom suites for large families
  • New modernized, energy efficient kitchen
  • Food and clothing pantries
  • Large multi-purpose room and computer lab
  • 1st and 2nd floor laundry facilities
  • Age specific play room, teen lounge, family lounge and dining room
  • Access to public transportation, shopping and community resources
  • Appropriate staff offices and a private social work office
  • Natural campus with two age-specific playgrounds, green space for recreational sports and outside dining, a nature walk, a community garden and ample parking

Jennifer Barrera, Executive Director of Lucy’s Hearth said, “This new facility will not only provide a beautiful, safe facility for our families but it represents an overwhelming amount of support of a lot of caring people and the entire community! We are so grateful!”

NCA Principal Dan Kwasniewski said, “NCA was the original architect in 1988 and the building has been repurposed as a 16-unit women’s shelter for Lucy’s Hearth. NCA created a sleek, clean and bright transitional style to help repurpose the New England vernacular original design.”

Lucy’s Hearth was established in 1984 as a grassroots organization serving as a night-to-night shelter for homeless women and children in the community. Over the years, the shelter expanded its service continuum with a focus on self-sufficiency to help families increase their ability to live independently, thus breaking the cycle of homelessness.

Lucy’s Hearth delivers holistic wrap-around services for resident mothers and their children including case management, daily nutritious meals, mental health treatment, referral and advocacy, early intervention for children 0-3 years of age, life skills training, financial literacy education, on-site GED education and more.

Nationally accredited as an Enhanced Shelter, Lucy’s Hearth provides crisis stabilization as well as basic human needs assistance including meals and clothing, and comprehensive self-sufficiency programs designed to increase each woman’s capacity to secure permanent affordable housing. Families remain in the Enhanced Shelter Program from three to six months, and more than 80% of families transition into permanent housing.

The Lucy’s Hearth renovation was a $4.4 million project to establish the most modern, energy-efficient transitional housing facility in Rhode Island. The renovation of the new facility was possible thanks to major funders including:

  • van Beuren Charitable Foundation
  • LISC – Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  • Health Resources and Services Administration
  • Town of Middletown Community Development Block Grant
  • BankNewport
  • Commerce Rhode Island
  • Lucy’s Hearth Board of Directors & Community Donors
  • Federal Home Loan Bank

Relocation of Lucy’s Hearth will achieve:

  • A 60% increase in capacity to serve more women and children experiencing homelessness;
  • Positive outcomes for mothers and children resulting from a safe, modern and nurturing facility;
  • Expanded opportunities to develop and implement new services;
  • Greater organizational efficiency from the elimination of rent, high utility expenses, costly emergency repairs and inefficient operations; and
  • Most importantly, the women and children served by Lucy’s Hearth will have the opportunity to live, recover and improve their lives in a dignified, modern environment.