Home is where the hearth is

Lucy’s Hearth has provided shelter and critical human services to homeless women and their children in the same building for over 30 years.

Now Lucy’s Hearth is in need of a new home.

Lucy’s Hearth was established in 1984 as a grassroots organization serving as a night-to-night shelter for homeless women and children of our community. Over the years, our 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 Lucy’s Hearth has consistently operated at capacity from an outdated building that is no longer suitable for the vulnerable women and children who rely on us as a safe place to receive our support.

Lucy’s Hearth is Here to Help!

Lucy’s Hearth is Here to Help!

Lucy’s Hearth is more than just a shelter. Nationally accredited as an Enhanced Shelter, we provide 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.

Why is Lucy’s Hearth Unique?

Lucy’s Hearth delivers holistic wrap-around services for resident mothers and their children, including:

  • Case management
  • Daily nutritious meals
  • Clothing, diapers, toiletries and household items
  • Mental health treatment, referral and advocacy
  • Early Intervention for children 0-3 years of age
  • Children’s activities
  • Life skills training
  • Financial literacy education
  • On-site GED education
  • Exercise, wellness and nutrition courses
  • Aftercare and outreach

Research has shown that ongoing exposure to adverse experiences in childhood, like housing instability, significantly increases the risk of poor health, social, mental health, and academic outcomes later in life. Lucy’s Hearth offers a broad spectrum of child-focused services specifically designed to enhance positive outcomes.

An Inadequate Home

Lucysimage3Despite having a positive impact, Lucy’s Hearth operates within a severely deteriorated facility. Built in 1954, the building is no longer adequate and has become an operational and financial hindrance to improving the lives of the women and children we serve.


What’s the Problem?

  • Lucy’s Hearth rents its building which makes it difficult to renovate and expand
  • Cramped family bedrooms, office space and not enough common space to accommodate the many services and activities we provide
  • Limited indoor and outdoor play space for children
  • Inadequate laundry facilities, kitchen facilities and restrooms
  • Poor lighting, deficient electrical, telephone and internet system
  • Antiquated heating system
  • Windows and doors are in disrepair
  • Roof leaks and basement is damp with poor air quality
  • No emergency generator to maintain a safe facility during power outages

A New Home for Lucy’s Hearth

Lucy’s Hearth entered into a purchase and sales agreement with Child & Family for its former headquarters at 19 Valley Road in Middletown. With over 9,300 square feet of space, this building is situated on 2.2 acres of land and is ready to be redeveloped as the ideal home for Lucy’s Hearth. The Town of Middletown has approved plans by Northeast Collaborative Architects for a completely refurbished interior and grounds improvements that will meet the needs of Lucy’s Hearth far into the future. Lucy’s Hearth’s new home includes:

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

Relocation Will Achieve:

A 60% increase in capacity to serve more homeless women and children

Positive outcomes for mothers and children resulting from a safe, modern and nurturing facility

Expanded opportunities to develop and implement new services

Greater organizational effciency from the elimination of rent, high utility expenses, costly emergency repairs, and inefficient operations

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.

The budget for this transformational project is $4.4 million. $1.9 million in public funds have been secured or are in the process of being secured from numerous sources including the Federal Home Loan Bank and the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration with the assistance of Church Community Housing. In order to reach the total project budget, Lucy’s Hearth has embarked on the first major fundraising campaign in its 30-year history. The Home Is Where the Hearth Is campaign is a $2.5 million community fundraising drive led by Lucy’s Hearth’s Board of Directors with assistance from a volunteer committee determined to realize the vision for this new home at 19 Valley Road. Lucy’s Hearth must first raise $1.5 million for property acquisition, new construction and an operating reserve to support uninterrupted service during the relocation period. This phase is followed by an equally important $1 million building maintenance fund. The accomplishment of this goal will secure long-term financial strength for the organization. There are 50 naming opportunities (View PDF) associated with Lucy’s Hearth’s new building and campus for philanthropic investments ranging from $5,000 to $500,000. This includes the naming opportunities associated with 16 new residential units that constitute the core mission of Lucy’s Hearth.
Lucy’s Hearth welcomes your consideration of a meaningful investment in this truly transformational capital project.

To learn more about Lucy’s Hearth or to make a contribution or pledge, please contact Jennifer Barrera, Program Director, or a member of our Board of Directors or Campaign Committee.

Thank you.

Jennifer Barrera, Program Director
Lucy’s Hearth
19 Valley Road
Middletown, RI 02842
(401) 847-2021

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