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Providence

Find alternatives to calling the Providence Police Department.

Cover photo for alternatives to police in Providence, RI, a list of alternatives to calling the police or 911

Typically, people call the police because they are experiencing or perceive an emergency and need immediate assistance. In order to provide the most effective alternatives to calling the police or 911, unless otherwise indicated, the resources included here are limited to those that offer immediate assistance through emergency or crisis services.

Where we know or suspect that a resource may work in cooperation with law enforcement, we acknowledge that in the listing.

These resources are not intended to cover all situations, only to provide the services described. If you are in danger of immediate harm and feel safe doing so, call 911.

Housing

  • Rhode Island Food Bank
    • Food bank distributing food to free pantries throughout the state. Hours vary by food pantry – please refer to the website to find your local pantries and hours. If unable to access the website, assistance locating nearest pantry is available by phone from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.
    • (401) 942-6325
    • List of locations, current as of Sept. 2020
    • https://rifoodbank.org/find-food/
  • United Way 211
    • A free and confidential resource that connects Rhode Islanders with housing, food, affordable childcare, and other social services.
    • 211
    • https://www.uwri.org/2-1-1/

LGBTQ+

  • PFLAG Helpline Greater Providence
    • Volunteer-run helpline that provides support, information, and assistance to parents, families, friends and allies of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people across Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts and Eastern Connecticut.
    • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • (401) 307-1802
    • https://www.pflagprovidence.org/
  • Youth Pride, Inc.
    • Space for LGBTQ+ youth ages 9 – 24. Pantry is open during the week for youth in need off food, clothes, toiletries, and/or school supplies. Youth can take these items for free. Provides free and confidential monthly HIV testing. Housing help available on Tuesdays from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. including, but not limited to, applying to subsidized housing, assisting with transportation to appointments, understanding government benefits like SNAP (food stamps), connecting people to mental health resources, providing information on food pantries and hot meal sites, & legal advice. Also hosts support and community groups.
    • 743 Westminster St. Providence, Rhode Island 02903
    • (401) 421-5626
    • https://www.youthprideri.org/
    • Currently offering support groups, leadership program, and new art program online! Physical space is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays for select in-person services by appointment only. You can make an appointment to go through the pantry, use computers/wifi, or both!  Learn more and make an appointment here: http://bit.ly/ypireopening

Mental Health

  • BH Link
    • Provides immediate assistance to a person in crisis by providing innovative crisis intervention services, and connecting people to ongoing treatment and care. Connects people to appropriate care and resources, immediate stabilizing emergency behavioral health services, and long-term care and recovery supports. Spanish services available. Walk-in ok, call first if possible.
    • 975 Waterman Ave., East Providence, RI (24/7 triage center)
    • (401) 414-LINK (5465) (24/7)
    • https://www.bhlink.org/
  • Samaritans Rhode Island
    • Free and confidential suicide prevention crisis hotline listening line. Volunteer staffed and available for anyone with mental health concerns.
    • (401) 272-4044 or RI (800) 365-4044 (24/7)
    • http://www.samaritansri.org/

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

  • Crossroads Rhode Island – DVT Program
    • Provides integrated services to address the unique needs of domestic violence survivors. Works with them to break the cycle of violence and find secure, stable housing. Offers comprehensive trauma-informed services for domestic violence survivors, including a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter, rapid re-housing, advocacy, support groups, and children’s enrichment programs.
    • (401) 861-2760 (24/7)
    • https://www.crossroadsri.org/housing-services/programs-services/domestic-violence-program
  • Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center
    • Wraparound services for victims of domestic and sexual violence, including crisis intervention, a crisis hotline, case management including referrals, courtroom and law enforcement advocacy, shelter, and free counseling and support services.
    • Hotline: (401) 738-1700
    • Business: (401) 738-9700
    • https://www.ebccenter.org/
  • Sojourner House
    • Offers domestic and sexual violence and human trafficking support services. Services provided in English and Spanish at Drop-In Advocacy and Resource Center. After-hours calls transferred to statewide hotline for victims of crimes. Specialized services for LGBTQ+ survivors.
    • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Mon. – Fri.
    • 386 Smith Street, Providence, RI
    • (401) 861-6191 (Office)
    • (401) 808-6889 (Housing assistance)
    • (401) 765-3232 (24/7 Helpline and shelter)
    • http://www.sojournerri.org/
    • Drop-in advocacy assistance and housing offices are open by appointment during COVID-19. Shelters are operating, and hotline is staffed 24/7.

Youth

Please note, people answering these calls may be mandatory reporters, and required to make a report to CPS or law enforcement in certain situations. Learn about local mandatory reporter laws here.

  • Kids Link RI
    • Free, confidential phone line that connects parents and caregivers to an experienced clinician that can help them access children’s services in Rhode Island, and determine the best place to go for treatment and counseling.
    • 1 (855) KID-LINK(543-5465) (24/7)
    • https://www.lifespan.org/centers-services/kids-link-ri
  • Youth Pride, Inc.
    • Drop-in space for LGBTQ+ youth ages 9 – 24. Pantry is open during the week for youth in need off food, clothes, toiletries, and/or school supplies. Youth can take these items for free. Provides free and confidential monthly HIV testing. Housing help available on Tuesdays from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. including, but not limited to, applying to subsidized housing, assisting with transportation to appointments, understanding government benefits like SNAP (food stamps), connecting people to mental health resources, providing information on food pantries and hot meal sites, & legal advice. Also hosts support and community groups.
    • Drop-in hours:
      • Age 14 – 23: 2:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Tues., Wed., & Fri.
      • Age 9-13: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Thur.
    • 743 Westminster St. Providence, Rhode Island 02903
    • (401) 421-5626
    • https://www.youthprideri.org/
    • Drop-in services suspended due to COVID-19 – email for pantry appointment, pantry@youthprideri.org

Elders

Coming soon.

Crime

Coming soon.

Substance Abuse

  • BH Link
    • 24/7 phone and in-person crisis intervention for people experiencing an overdose or seeking assistance with addiction. Connects callers to crisis services, counselors, and support services. Provides services in Spanish. Walk-in ok, call first if possible.
    • 975 Waterman Ave., East Providence, RI (24/7 triage center)
    • (401) 414-LINK (5465) (24/7)
    • https://www.bhlink.org/
  • Buprenorphine 24/7 Hotline
    • (401) 606-5456 (24/7)
  • Providence Safe Stations
    • You can visit any of Providence’s 12 fire stations, speak with the trained staff on duty, and immediately get connected to addiction or overdose treatment support and services. Providence Safe Stations is free and provides a welcoming environment for when you’re ready for recovery. 24/7 services.
    • https://pvdsafestations.com/

Please consider using these alternatives to calling the Providence Police Department or 911 when faced with a situation that calls for de-escalation and/or intervention. We can abolish the police by not calling the police.

We have tried to indicate where police or law enforcement may work with the alternative resources listed; please let us know if you have any concerns about these resources.

Reimagine public safety. Don’t call the police.

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