October 24, 2014
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Saturday bash, yard sale to benefit RI Family Shelter
SHELTER: Formerly the St. Benedict Church convent, this building in Conimicut now houses the RI Family Shelter.

People like Patti Macreading will tell you “our mission is to keep homeless families together – in our temporary shelter or in supportive and affordable housing – as we help them reclaim their independent lives.”

Trouble is, Macreading – and people like Barbara Quagan – will tell you, “lots of people don’t even know about [it] or that the Rhode Island Family Shelter is right here in Warwick.”

That’s why Macreading, who is the Shelter’s executive director, and Quagan, who is the Shelter’s night and weekend manager, along with a host of volunteers, have organized a Neighborhood Bash and Community Yard Sale that will begin Saturday morning and continue through 2 p.m.

“It’s really incredible,” Macreading said. “A lot of people who have lived in Warwick and who grew up in the city have never, ever heard about the Shelter. Saturday will be a fun day for everyone as well as our families, who at present are down on their luck.”

Macreading credited Quagan with doing “a lot of work for the family fun day that will hopefully help us generate much-needed revenue.”

The Rhode Island Family Shelter is located at 165 Beach Avenue in the Conimicut section of Warwick.

Quagan said the family fun day will be free and include face painting, a bounce house, food and a bake sale.

More important, if anyone has items they’d like to sell, Quagan and other volunteers will certainly welcome them. Donations of $10 or more will enable a person to have his or her space in the yard sale. To reserve space, people are urged to call Selena at the Shelter at 739-8584.

Quagan, who was once a volunteer but has been a staff member at the Shelter for 14 years, said, “Our main goal is to let people know we’re here and where we are located. This is a wonderful place; it’s very, very nice and we urge as many people as possible to come Saturday and check us out. We’re right next to Saint Benedict’s Church.”

The Rhode Island Family Shelter, which is a 501c3 non-profit corporation, is for families only.

“We’re a family shelter that houses homeless families,” Quagan said. “People have to come in as a family with children. They can be a mother, father and children, a father with kids or mother with kids. We’re full right now, but if people are looking for a place to stay, we give them a number to get on the waiting list.”

“All our services are provided at no cost,” Macreading said. “Approximately 400 individuals per year receive shelter and supportive services. Our goal is to keep families safe and together as they seek permanent solutions to their homelessness.”


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