Westerly Area Rest Meals (WARM) Inc. was incorporated on December 15, 1987, to provide shelter and meals to the homeless throughout southern Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut. In conjunction with seven local churches, the shelter and soup kitchen were kept open seven days a week from November to March.
The shelter and the soup kitchen rotated nightly between the following locations:
Sundays: Pawcatuck Seventh Day Baptist Church
Mondays: St. Pius X Church
Tuesdays: Christ Episcopal Church
Wednesdays: St. Michael’s Church
Thursdays: Immaculate Conception Church
Fridays: Pleasant Street Baptist Church
Saturdays: Central Baptist Church
Many of the original churches are still involved with WARM today, providing volunteers, meals, and shoulder when needed. Their collective mission statement at inception was; “Westerly Area Rest/Meals Shelter, Inc. offers each guest three basic expressions of hospitality: a warm meal, a warm bed and a warm welcome as well as related social services and advocacy.”
1989: By the second year of operation, eight churches were involved and the service was provided year around. Over 300 volunteers were supporting WARM, along with local businesses, civic groups, Westerly Hospital and Westerly Fire Department.
1990: Executive Director hired. The building at 56 Spruce Street was purchased to provide a stable environment for those needing food and shelter.
2000: November 15th. The building at 54 Spruce Street was purchased to provide for the possibility of expansion, housing for Attire for Hire, and executive offices.
2012: Russell J. Partridge steps in as acting Executive Director.
2013: Retirement of long-time Executive Director, Rev. Jean Barry, and the dedication of our new building, The Rev. Jean Barry Center for Social Services, at 54 Spruce Street.
With over 25 years of experience working with and aiding our community’s most vulnerable, WARM’s outreach now spans more than 20 communities in RI and CT.