Video: Cranston pushes back against McKee homeless village

Cranston can’t have a Costco but will have a homeless village that will cost you.
-Murray Hand staff writer for
Cranston-Unbeknownst to Cranston residents, Governor Dan McKee is trying to set up a “McKee-ville” 500-person homeless encampment on the grounds of the Pastore Complex. Pastore Complex already houses the DMV, ACI, as well as Eleanor Slater Mental Hospital. The John DePetro Facebook Live-stream was live from the site with Cranston City Councilmembers Nicole Renzulli and Matt Reilly. Reilly has written a proposal to ask Governor McKee to withdraw this proposal which would hurt Cranston, which recently has made one of the top 50 Cities in America.
Homelessness has become increasingly more prevalent across America as our country has had to face lockdowns, business closures, vaccine mandates, supply chain shortages, energy crises, and now the ever-constant housing shortage. With rising homeless populations, many cities across America, especially Portland, Oregon, and Los Angeles are showing right before us what could be happening right in your backyard in Cranston. Why Cranston? Of course, it is about 364 acres owned by the state, who is to say that the other 38 other cities and towns in Rhode Island will not be forced to house these homeless encampments eventually?
Local residents have voiced their opinions on John DePetro Show Facebook page. Residents do not feel that this is a temporary situation and will become permanent housing and a blueprint for other cities and towns to copy. On social media, comments have already said “we have them in Portland”, and “listen to the taxpayers”. “Why Cranston?  This is all reminiscent of the recent story of Governor Ron DeSantis sending illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard. “No human is illegal” until they’re in your community, it seems.
There have already been reports of registered sex offenders moving in. They’re accessing the libraries and one was already arrested for accessing pornography on a computer at the library, which should always be a safe haven for members of the community. With this influx, first responders who are already overwhelmed are already seeing an uptick in crime. This is not going to help residents feel safe in their own community.
These encampments have been originally set up as temporary, but the concern is that they will remain permanent housing. There is no guarantee and residents fear it is a pilot program. Pew Research already estimates that there is a 3.8 million unit housing shortage in the United States. This situation is not going to get any better as Americans face economic uncertainty on the verge of another recession and potential war. Councilor Reilly urges Cranston residents and other concerned Rhode Islanders to reach out to the Governor’s Office to voice their concerns.

Mayor of Mckee-ville