Lucy’s Hearth opens its doors to all genders

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. — Lucy’s Hearth, a 24-hour emergency and transitional shelter previously open to only mothers and their children experiencing homelessness, announced that it is accepting residents regardless of gender.

“In order to create an environment where we can help keep more families intact and to comply with changes in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines, Lucy’s Hearth will now provide programs and services to all homeless families, regardless of gender,” said Jennifer Barrera, Program Director of Lucy’s Hearth.

The change comes on the heels of updates to Federal guidelines from HUD designed to ensure equal access to housing.

“While traditionally Lucy’s Hearth has served only female residents and their children, homelessness doesn’t discriminate and we believe that this change will allow us to better serve all Rhode Island families who are experiencing homelessness,” continued Barrera. “The change in policy allows us to more fully embrace the role that fathers play in the lives of their children and will allow more families to remain intact as they work to overcome barriers to self-sufficiency.”

Lucy’s Hearth moved into a new building last October that offers private living quarters, private bathrooms, security cameras, and access controls on the doors. Additionally, Lucy’s Hearth has updated their policies and procedures to address the change.

Lucy’s Hearth is a 24-hour emergency and transitional shelter for families who are homeless due to economic hardship, family crisis, divorce, eviction, and severe shortage of safe, affordable housing. The mission is to provide comprehensive programs and services to homeless families in a safe, supportive environment that promotes family health and stability and increases self-sufficiency in order to achieve permanent, affordable housing

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