1540 WADK.com Updates

Three nonprofit social services groups will receive more than $350,000 to expand their work in downtown Providence.

The Rhode Island Foundation made the announcement on Monday. It comes after complaints from business leaders of increased panhandling and other problems downtown.

Foundation CEO Neil Steinberg says the money will go toward helping people find housing, jobs, and services such as treatment for mental health and substance abuse.

The money will be shared among Amos House, Crossroads RI and the Providence Center, and includes funding for things including a program that puts people who panhandle to work cleaning roadways and vacant lots in Providence.

The grants will fund services for six months. The foundation says a business group plans to raise additional money to extend the services beyond that.

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