While the encampment under the Crawford Street Bridge temporarily shelters 15 to 20 people, the problems for unsheltered homeless people in Providence persist. The group, a number of whom have been sleeping there since January24, has recently come together to clarify their objectives: “Together, we chose the very wording of this message. We want affordable sustained housing, outreach and case management (for people sleeping on the streets), and enforcement of program assurances, including safety provisions in the shelters,” reported Megan Smith. “The tent city is a means, not an end.” Like many individuals there, Smith works to advocate for the unsheltered. Continue reading ‘Need For Tent City Persists’
Monthly Archive for March, 2009
By Dan Meltzer
Before becoming homeless in 1992, Brian Young lived in Newport for many years. After a spell of being in and out of prison, he decided it was time to begin again in a new place. Young moved to Providence. Despite the difﬁculties in adjusting to a completely new city, he took it “one day at a time.” Continue reading ‘Constant Effort Pays Off’
By David Eisenberger
On President’s Day at Beneﬁcent Church, Project Hope held a get-together for about 250 people. Project Hope is part of the mission headed by B.O.W. (Beyond Our Walls) which is based in Barrington. Many volunteers worked on the cold, windy day, serving breakfast and lunch, and providing clothes, warmth, and energy to those who attended.
According to Jan Malcolm, one of the founders of BOW, the organization started in January 2005 as a multi-faith outreach group. The group focuses on advocacy by volunteering. The creation of the group was inspired by a similar group in California. Continue reading ‘Project Hope Offers Day of Service and Hospitality’
This March, Street Sights celebrates our two year anniversary. We have come from a one-page newsletter with a staff of four to a 12-page newspaper with a staff of more than 25, and from a distribution of 50 to 3,000. Our staff includes a wide representation of our community: homeless and formerly homeless people, high school and college interns, and professional journalists. We distribute our paper at more than 60 sites throughout Rhode Island. We build relationships with housing and homelessness-related non-proﬁts. Our paper serves as a supportive community, empowering people without a voice. Continue reading ‘Street Sights Celebrates Two Years’
By David Eisenberger and Jenny DiTomasso
Many people don’t know what detox covers, or what programs are available in the state. Furthermore, there is no clear policy at the Rhode Island Hospital Emergency for 911 calls concerning alcohol or drug addiction. Addiction is a chronic relapse illness.
A pilot “diversion” program is now getting underway said Dr. Nicholas Zeller, immunologist at Miriam Hospital, Dr. Josiah Rich of Miriam Hospital, and Jill Reuter, media relations ofﬁcer of Lifespan. Continue reading ‘Few Options Available for Detox Treatment’
By Amy Peters
“Where did you stay last night? In a shelter, in a park, at the ER?” Volunteers asked these questions to hundreds of people throughout Rhode Island on January 30, February 2 and 3. The volunteers were conducting a survey called the Point-in-Time count, designed to count homeless people who are not staying in shelters. They surveyed local meal sites and took to the streets, checking underneath overpasses, in alleys, and in parks, for homeless individuals who are not staying in shelters. Continue reading ‘Unsheltered People Counted’
By Pamala Therrien
In response to the foreclosure crisis in Providence and a rally to stop foreclosures and evictions in January, Mayor Cicilline and Councilor Kevin Jackson have introduced two new city ordinances designed to keep families from losing housing.
The ﬁrst ordinance would protect tenants from eviction when their apartments are subject to foreclosing proceedings. The second ordinance would require ﬁnancial institutions and property owners to engage in mediation with a HUD-approved counselor before moving ahead with a foreclosure. Whether these ordinances will be adopted by the city is still up in the air. Continue reading ‘Protections Against Foreclosures Proposed’
Three years ago, Joanna Saraﬁan started The Midnight Hour. After 15 years of a difﬁcult life, in which she had to give up the rights to her four children, Saraﬁan devoted her life to her Christian faith. She was determined to return to the streets in the midnight hour to search for people whose shoes she walked in before.
Today, her four children are back in her life, and some of them work with her. Today many young girls are turning their life around, following Saraﬁan’s example. Continue reading ‘Friends at Midnight’
This month’s Humanitarian Award goes to the Mental Health Consumer Advocates of Rhode Island (MHCA)/Oasis, located at 1280 North Main Street in Providence.
MHCA/Oasis is a statewide organization that has been helping its clients since 1985. Its members know from experience that people who suffer from mental illness have much to offer in ways of time, talent, and enthusiasm. Continue reading ‘Help Is At Hand for Mental Health Needs’
Duration of Homelessness: Off and on
Interest: Sports, reading, bike riding
What I have learned: You have to look out and take care of yourself because the system won’t help you.
Plans: To become employed
Advice: Keep your head up
Dreams: To have my own home and family
By Tiffany Wallace
It was not a usual restaurant, in the sense that no one paid for food, there wasn’t a menu, and only one meal is served a day. However, there were servers, a chef, and guests. God was there, too.
I had never been to a restaurant like this before. It served clam chowder, fruit, rolls, an array of cheese, and even a snack to go. Guests could choose coffee or water. Continue reading ‘Kindness Is on the Menu’