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Rhode Island Vincentians Turning Apartments Into Homes

Rhode Island Vincentians Turning Apartments Into Homes

Rhode Island Vincentians Turning Apartments Into Homes 150 150 Pam Hudson

When tragedy strikes, communities rally around their most vulnerable members. This is the mark of a society. Many of us know, however, that recovering from a disaster takes more than temporary shelters, boxes of donated items, and a few weeks to get back on your feet. This is a process that can take place over months, even years. When the calendar changes and it seems everyone has forgotten those who are still in need: this is when the Society of St. Vincent de Paul makes a difference with financial support, presence, and prayer.

The work being done by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Rhode Island this summer is exemplary of the value of long-term assistance to our neighbors in need. On May 28, 2023, Simmons Village, an affordable housing apartment complex for aging and disabled residents in Johnston, Rhode Island, suffered a devastating fire. 45 households were affected, and 41 are still displaced one year later. Fortunately, the Society has been with these survivors every step of the way, and on May 30, 2024, Rhode Island Vincentians mobilized to package and personally deliver essential household items to the newly rebuilt complex. This material support is made possible through House in a Box, a Disaster Services program that delivers essential furniture and home supplies right to survivors’ doors, turning empty apartments into comfortable homes.

“The residents of Simmons Village have endured unimaginable hardship over the past year,” said Reneé Brissette Executive Director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Rhode Island. “Our Long-Term Disaster Services is designed to provide them with the essential items needed to start anew. We are committed with the help of the community to ensuring these families can return to a sense of normalcy and stability.”

Additionally, SVdP Rhode Island’s initiative will support the residents of Simmons Village with a grant from the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, USA, local community connections, and the generous support of fellow Vincentians. But the work is not done yet: Rhode Island Vincentians will continue to raise funds for the House in a Box program to provide as many residents as possible with basic furniture, linens, and housewares.

Johnston residents return home one year after fire destroys apartment building (turnto10.com)

Submitted by: SVdP Rhode Island

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