By Stan Kapelewski
Street Sights is proud to give this month’s Humanitarian Award to Capital City Community Centers at 110 Ruggles Street in Providence.
For 25 years, the Case Management Program of Capital City Community Center (known as Cap Cities) has helped Providence’s low-income residents meet their basic needs for food, clothing, and other necessities. Continue reading ‘Improving Life for People in Need’
By D. Sullin
As I sit here at the crossroad of my life
I wonder, “What is God’s plan for me?”
As I watch people come in and out,
I wonder if they are at the same crossroad as I am.
As I think about everything…
Did I make a wrong turn at the crossroad?
Or is this where I am supposed to be?
As I stand here looking up and down the street,
Do I really understand God’s plan for me at this crossroad?
As I talk to people at Crossroads,
I start to understand that I should be here
To help people if I can.
A crossroad is somewhere everyone will be
At one time or another in their lives.
By Stan Kapelewski
This month, Street Sights is proud to give its Rainbow Award to William W. Price Jr., a peer specialist and counselor at Oasis. He goes out of his way to listen to peoples’ problems, and gives them rides, haircuts, and a variety of other things.
When I asked him “What do you like best about helping people?” he responded, “The best job that you can have is helping your fellow human beings. I enjoy being the liaison for people that sometime cannot help themselves. I want to give back some of the opportunities that I had to others who are less fortunate.” Continue reading ‘Price Evolves from Art Student to Counselor’
By Daniel Blankenship
People crowded around the entrance to St. John’s Church on October 28 for the reopening of the meal site there. The reopened meal site is a joint effort of Homeless People’s Action Committee, Johnson and Wales University, Bryant University, and Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere, a Brown University student group. Pastries and bread were donated by Au Bon Pain and Scialo Brothers Bakery. Students from the participating universities and Providence College, as well as other volunteers from the community, turned out to help.
This was a special meal at St. John’s Church because that meal site had been closed since May 20 after the retirement of former volunteers.
This site will offer meals every Tuesday between 4 and 5 p.m. Over 200 people were served on the opening night and many gave the meal rave reviews.
By Samantha Pfister
You ruined my life at the age of four…
Leading me into darkness, and then locking the door
I am a teenager now, by the name of Sam
No longer vulnerable to your evil scams
Forcing me to do things that I didn’t want to do
Yelling and screaming, and then beating me with your shoe
You said that you loved me, yet promised me fear,
While offering me sips of your nasty beer
You told me not to tell ‘cuz you did it for love,
Forcing me to fly away like a wounded dove!
You ruined my life at the age of five…
Bringing me down, yet I still learned to thrive
You came into my room when everyone was asleep
Telling me secrets that you forced me to keep
I didn’t know what to do, so I kept it all inside
Bottled up emotions I soon began to hide
You scarred my body in more ways than one
Sexually abused me, and found it fun
Then when you left you began to stalk
I hoped and prayed that you would just stop!
By David Eisenberger
Love is needed, to make me whole
Something that’s missing everyday
Now I’ll try my best, to realize
That someday love will come my way
Love is needed, to give me life
To repair a heart so broken
No longer will I ever listen
To all the broken promises spoken!
Love is needed, once again
For I have only one desire
I must relive this passion
To rekindle my inner fire
So I’ll wait, and maybe find
Despite the warnings, nor be impeded
Though life and love is a risk to take
Now, more than ever…Love is Needed.
By Ge Zhang
Just as evening temperatures have started to plummet and the shelters continue to ill up with people, the Hypothermia Sanctuary has opened at Mathewson Street Church.
Frank Coowinham, a member of the Homeless People’s Action Committee (HPAC), explained that, in contrast to other shelters, “the Hypothermia Sanctuary is just for emergencies.” The Hypothermia Sanctuary is open to everyone, but Coowinham said that people currently sleeping outside or under bridges are the ones that the Sanctuary exists to serve in particular. When Providence-area shelters like Providence Rescue Mission, Urban League, Harrington Hall (“Overflow”) and the women’s shelter at Crossroads RI are full, people are referred to the Hypothermia Sanctuary. Continue reading ‘New Sanctuary Dedicated to Offering Shelter from the Cold’
By Carolyn Schwartz
Look at all our older faces
We have been so many places
We’ve earned our special folds of skin
Each reflecting what we’ve been.
We have given so much though
To all the younger ones we taught
We helped to make our children grow
Into the adults we’re proud to know.
Yes, all our lives we’ve worked so hard
Rewarded now by man and God
Who shows us in aging all His ways
And grants us bright and glorious days.
Interview with Mary Blue Hastings, founder and director of Farmacy Herbs and Community Health and Education Center
What is Farmacy?
Farmacy is a non-profit herb shop and holistic health education center. We are open two days a week for bulk herbs and herbal products (like books, tinctures). One day we have an herbal education program, one day we have sliding sc The rest of the time is spend offering free holistic care to cancer patients. Practitioners from the area will offer services their services out of this space. Continue reading ‘Hastings Promotes the Healing Power of Herbs’
By Jeff Murray
Is Death around the corner,
Knocking at my door?
Exploiting my addictions and weakness,
Looking for another score.
In me you find a desire,
To become superficial.
Not a heart nor a soul,
To stop that final whistle…
It was fun while it lasted,
Living every moment free;
But the only thing I’ll really miss,
Are those dreams I had yet to dream.
By Fred Pece
I can’t understand it…
makes me wonder why
People being mean to each other
always causes me to cry
The world is full of hate
Some people say there’s nothing you can do
But I on the other hand
Think that the problem could be solved by me and you
It has to start somewhere
Why not give it a chance?
Show more respect to one another
Let’s live, love, and dance
Life is too short to waste it away
Let’s make it more colorful, instead of so gray.
By Joseph Perry
At the beginning of October, the WARM shelter in Westerly kicked off its new campaign, entitled “A Dollar Makes a Difference.” As rising utility costs threaten the survival of shelter clients and other members of the community, shelter staff searched desperately for a solution. That solution was finally suggested to Reverend Jean Barry, the Executive Director of WARM, during a community meeting. The answer: ask many for a little.
Just a dollar, in fact. The idea of “A Dollar Makes a Difference” is to support community members and shelter residents during the heating crisis that is sure to come this winter. The WARM shelter in Westerly is asking for people to donate a dollar a week from now until March 1st. If many give a little, many can be helped. Continue reading ‘Shelter Makes Pitch for a Dollar’
By Mary Lhowe
A program to serve a nightly meal at Harrington Hall collapsed in July for lack of funding, but that does not mean that food has disappeared from the Cranston men’s shelter. A loose confederation of churches, a charitable group, and concerned individuals have been working to get food to Harrington Hall on a more-or-less regular schedule most evenings of the week.
Leading the charge to help feed the 80 or so men who use the Harrington Hall shelter at the Pastore Center is the Breadlines Ministry, in tandem with the Blackstone Valley Catholic Worker and You Fed Me program. Continue reading ‘Charity Groups Take on Task to Feed Men in Harrington’
By Pamala Therrien
In July, the George Wiley Center circulated a petition calling for the reduction of the down payments for the customers who have had their utilities shut off. The petition received the needed 33 signatures in less than an hour and a half, which showed that Providence is committed to this issue. Once the petition was hand delivered to the Public Utilities Commission, the George Wiley Center was granted a Docket # 3975. At that time the George Wiley Center’s lawyer Jean Rosiello (who is also a board member of the Center) requested a meeting with the PUC. When the PUC received several data requests from National Grid a Public Hearing was held, and on September 30, 2008 the decision was made to decrease the percentage that a customer must pay to have utilities restored. This decision was a victory for the George Wiley Center, although the PUC did not grant a flat 10% for all customers experiencing a shutoff. Continue reading ‘PUC Gives Break on Utilities Bill’
By Ed Homer
Sojourner House and a roomful of guests celebrated the strength, faith, and wisdom of people suffering from domestic abuse at a gospel brunch October 18 at Crowne Plaza in Warwick.
The theme of the brunch, hosted by the Sojourner House, an organization committed to ending domestic violence, was Recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Sojourner House envisions a world where every woman, man, and child lives their lives free from domestic abuse. Continue reading ‘Harmony and Hope Join Hands at Sojourner House Brunch’
By Ashley Evans
Your desirable affection towards me,
left me quite cheerful,
but also made me speechless.
To feel as if I was in Utopia
whenever I happened to be near you,
was, in fact a feeling of desire and love.
To interpret such a complex
and adverse feeling has to be, yet,
the most remarkable thing that happened to me.
When we, as a couple are together;
be it walking down the street hand in hand
or at home, we are together as one.
When I say, ‘I love you’,
I see a new meaning to the sentence.
Time, and intimate moments
will always make our bond,
and life stronger
as the years go by.
By David Eisenberger
The need for peace, unity, and justice was the theme of an anti-war protest held in October at the Dexter Street Training grounds. Many speakers at the rally and the march that followed it addressed topics like the problems on Wall Street; discrimination by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and people who are forgotten by society in general. It was mentioned that 30 percent of children in this country are poor. Continue reading ‘Just Say No to War, Injustice’