Architect: Elton + Hampton Architects
Major Funders: Rhode Island Housing; Rhode Island Housing Resources Commission; Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management; city of Providence; Environmental Protection Agency; Corporation for Supportive Housing; Local Initiatives Support Corp.; Providence Housing Authority
OpenDoors Housing is home to some of Rhode Island's hardest to house.
The first large-scale development aimed at serving formerly incarcerated individuals in the state, the 19-unit project provides permanent housing and supportive services to help its residents integrate back into society.
The $4.4 million development is also an example of an adaptive-reuse project. The nonprofit OpenDoors repurposed the former Sealtest Ice Cream Factory, a historic brick building in Providence that had been vacant for two decades.
“We turned an eyesore into an oasis,” says Executive Director Sol Rodriguez.
Providence is home to approximately 34 percent of the 3,500 inmates released each year in the state. For them, housing and employment are the biggest needs.
OpenDoors aims to meet both. The organization has located its offices in the new development. Residents have access to a variety of services, including case management, job readiness training, and financial literacy classes. There is also space for the probation department and support groups.
The apartments serve both men and women. Sex offenders and people who have been convicted of drug manufacturing are not allowed.
The development was financed with several sources, including Neighborhood Stabilization Program and Tax Credit Exchange Program funds from Rhode Island Housing.