Governor McKee and EOHHS Announce $400K in Grant Funding to Support Service Delivery to Rhode Island’s Homeless and Housing Insecure Populations

Published on Thursday, August 03, 2023

CRANSTON, RI - The State of Rhode Island’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services today announced a grant opportunity aimed at bolstering agencies who assist individuals who are experiencing homelessness. Applications are due November 10, 2023 and the total available funding is $400,000 to be split among eligible agencies. 

The 2023 point in time count conducted by the Rhode Island Coalition to End Homelessness revealed 1,810 persons experiencing homelessness, compared to the 2022 count of 1,576 persons. The number of individuals experiencing homelessness in Rhode Island has increased 15% from the 2022 point in time count. The largest increase was within Persons Unsheltered and in Emergency Shelter.  

As stated in the Governor’s RI 2030 plan [], for Rhode Island to be an attractive place to live, work, and raise a family, the State needs to address the availability, quality and affordability of housing while also paying particular attention to those Rhode Islanders with specific housing needs, including those who are experiencing homelessness. This grant opportunity aligns with EOHHS’ strategic priorities [], including focusing on the root causes and the socioeconomic and environmental determinants of health. 

“The growing number of persons experiencing homelessness in Rhode Island must be addressed using a multitude of strategies, one of which is addressing inadequate staffing within organizations that serve persons experiencing homelessness as part of their mission,” said Governor Dan McKee. “It’s efforts like these, coupled with the historic investments made by my administration in the FY23 and FY24 budgets – will help Rhode Islanders access more affordable, accessible housing.”  

“The overarching goal of this opportunity is to strengthen/sustain workforce capacity in these areas through enhancing provider recruitment/retention efforts, improving infrastructure with Medicaid reimbursement,” said EOHHS Secretary Richard Charest. “Through this opportunity, EOHHS intends to supplement funding to grow the workforce, specifically focusing on Rhode Island’s home stabilization service providers, community health workers, peer recovery specialists, and clinical providers who deliver medical, behavioral health, and social services in community-based settings such as shelters, encampments, and related venues.”  

“Staff recruitment and retention has been cited as a challenge across industries in recent months, especially in the direct service industry, those in the homeless service provider and healthcare industries have been identified as a critical need,” said Medicaid Director Kristin Sousa. “This grant will focus on workforce recruitment, retention, and sustainability through increasing organizational readiness while continuing access to Medicaid services.” 

Applicants for this opportunity must agree to work towards establishing and/or strengthening their partnerships with the State’s Medicaid system. To maximize the integration of healthcare and housing as a social determinant of health, the applicant must strive to sustain at least a portion of their services through Medicaid billing and partnership. Applicants may wish to review the current details for home stabilization services [] and the proposed changes in the 1115 waiver proposal to Medicaid pg. 37 []. Eligible activities for the grant can be found here []