Newport This Week

Housing Hotline Could Receive Additional $30k with Matching Challenge Grant

Recently elected Newport City Councilor Mark Aramli is taking a personal stake in improving Aquidneck Island’s emergency homeless housing situation.

Today, Aramli announced a matching donation challenge to support the Newport Housing Hotline. His commitment will match dollar for dollar the first $30,000 in donations made to the Newport Housing Hotline over the next 30 days, with a goal of raising $60,000 for the non-profit organization. The matching donations will flow out of the Aramli Foundation, which is directly fueled by proceeds from the BedJet company located in Newport.

He is urging other local donors to join him in supporting this critical local non-profit community support group, and plans to ask to the City Council to provide an even larger civic grant to the organization in 2023 than the City’s prior 2022 grant of $7,500.

His first connection to the Housing Hotline came about in the days prior to the recent sub-zero frigid cold temperatures, when Newport Mayor Xay Khamsyvoravong led an initiative to open emergency warming centers for the City’s homeless population.

“During the recent extreme cold temperature weekend, when some of our homeless community were taking refuge in City operated emergency warming centers, the Aramli Foundation funded the Housing Hotline to house three families with seven children in local motels,” said Aramli.  “No family with children on Aquidneck Island should ever be forced to have warm shelter security issues during the winter.”

The Newport Housing Hotline operates primarily on local donations.  Donations to the Housing Hotline can be made online by visiting their website at, or mailing a check to their office at 40 Dr. Marcus Wheatland Blvd., Newport.

Established in 1979 by Newport Police Officer James (Jimmy) Winters to aid Newport’s homeless population, the Housing Hotline has grown to assist with all basic human needs and emergency support, serving over 100,000 individuals and families from Newport County since its inception.  Alongside his dedicated wife Barbara Winters and supportive staff, the Housing Hotline offers client services such as emergency sheltering in local motels during the winter months, utility and fuel assistance, clothing, food and furniture, bus fare and transportation, landlord/tenant handbooks, and legal referrals, as well as workshops to educate clients regarding local health issues. The Community Housing Resource Board/Housing Hotline is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  The Newport Housing Hotline runs entirely off local donations with no state or federal funding assistance.

“Jimmy and his wife Barbara have tirelessly dedicated themselves to keeping folks on Aquidneck Island from having to sleep on the streets or in their cars,” Aramli said.  “They deserve the strong support of our community.  They have likely prevented countless tragic situations with our city’s most vulnerable populations who have fallen through the cracks of our emergency housing assistance systems in Rhode Island.”

“Each and every any donation is very important to make sure everyone has safe, sound, and secure housing. We’re so thankful for all the support we’ve received over the past decades, the need now has never been higher,” Jimmy Winters said.


About the Aramli Foundation:      

Established in 2020 by Mark and Ida Aramli, the Aramli Foundation is a private charitable foundation with a mission to support local Aquidneck families and children in need.  The Aramli Foundation is funded by proceeds from the BedJet company.  The BedJet company is committed to ongoing funding of the Foundation for every BedJet Climate Comfort Sleep System sold.  In the past two years, more than $220,000 in charitable grants have been issued by the Aramli Foundation, enabled by the nearly 200,000 units sold by the BedJet company and its continued emergence as an international sleep brand. Founded in Newport, by inventor Mark Aramli, BedJet is the sleep technology company that created the world’s first ultra-rapid cooling, warming and sweat drying sleep system just for beds. The company has grown rapidly every year since product launch in 2015 and now sells in over 40 countries.

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