By Rosalina Collazo
R.I. Coalition for the Homeless
Pedro Rodriguez, a member of the Rhode Island Bank Tenant and Homeowners Association, brings enthusiasm to the group. He encourages everyone to stand together and give support to one another to strengthen the association as a whole. He wants everyone to stay strong and accomplish their goals to be able to stay home and be respected as human beings.
Q: How did you get involved in the tenant association?
A: I got involved because Tom [from Housing Action RI] and Rosalina [from the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless] showed up at my door to inform me that my house has been foreclosed and to invite me to come to a Rhode Island Bank Tenant and Homeowners Association meeting. I already knew though, because I had received the invitation flyer to the meeting on that night the tenants association was formed.
Q: Why are you passionate about this issue?
A: I wanted to join the Association to help people, especially tenants that are in foreclosed homes.
Q: What do you bring to the work?
A: I let other people know about the foreclosure association and the meetings.
Q: Can you talk a bit about your life?
A: I came from the Dominican Republic and have been living in Providence for the last three years. My four children, my mother, and I live in my apartment. I work at a dry cleaner. I do not make a fortune; I work 28, sometimes 31 hours weekly. The rest of the time I spend raising my children, helping with their homework, and taking care of them.
My biggest dream is to raise my children to be professionals so they don’t suffer so much from life, and I pray to see the day that my wife can come to be with us here. I feel very good about the relationship with the members of the association because we help each other and because we are dealing with the same problem.