By Louisa Smith
On December 17, 2010, a Tunisian street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire, helping fuel the protests that have spread across the Arab world over the past few months and have pushed two of the region’s presidents out of office.
Bouzazi lived in a rural town in Tunisia called Sidi Bouzid, where unemployment is estimated to be over 30%. The 26-year-old was working as a street vendor, selling enough fruit to provide for himself and the seven family members he lived with. Continue reading ‘Poverty, Hunger and Joblessness Provoke Protests Throughout the Arab World’
By Tom Deighan
It all started when I was two –years old when my dad died. He was 37. Nightmares were a common occurrence for quite some time. At that time there wasn’t much awareness of depression. At nine-years old my brother Michael passed away.
While my mother was in a nursing home, the word depression entered my life. My whole family has depression. It is truly a world of sadness, to be depressed. To me it comes down to holding onto losses that were never grieved. The more I held onto the losses, the worse it got. Continue reading ‘Holding Onto My Depression’
Photos and interviews by Erik Gould
“A man came up and asked me if I needed a cup a coffee. Which he bought for me, that was very nice on such a cold and snowy day. That made me smile.”
“Not so much until maybe just now! I am glad to find out about Street Sights and to see people trying to help the homeless out.”
“Well I’m trying to get home and I’ve had a rough morning, but when I get home to West Warwick I’ll feel better.”
By David Eisenberger
This was my observation of the third hearing on homelessness that took place on February 8th.
There was an alarming e-mail sent from Senator Nick Kettle. Let me quote the e-mail for all to see. “I need as many tea party supporters there for this one. Get there early to fill up the room before the homeless folks. Help me ask why this homeless person has better clothes than I?” Continue reading ‘Senator Kettle Apologizes?’
My name is Louisa. I have been with Street Sights for about three and a half years, ever since I moved to Providence to go school at Brown University. I was born in Portland, Maine, and before coming to Rhode Island I lived in a small town outside of Portland with my parents, younger brother, and our yellow lab.
I got involved with Street Sights through a Brown student group called HOPE, or Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere. Back in the fall of 2007, Street Sights was a lot smaller than it is today, but I was immediately hooked. I have loved getting to know all the people I meet through Street Sights, and it’s always fun when someone new comes to our meetings. Continue reading ‘Meet the Staff: Louisa’
By Chris Tibedo
Quicker and quicker
Pulse, Pulse, Pulse,
As words are spoken
As words are yelled
As words are screamed
Quicker and quicker each pulse beats
The feeling of each pulse strangles me
Feeling like each pulse is killing me
Like my soul is drained
By Andrew Spooner
The best way to describe Sue Lavoie is energetic and joyful. She is always quick to offer her wonderful smile that brightens and welcomes those who meet her at Oasis, on North Main Street. Once you meet Sue you will be encouraged by her positive energy and style. She is always upbeat for whatever celebration that is going on at Oasis. She is a team player as she goes about her cleaning duties and completes the task she is assigned, without complaining.
Whenever possible she enjoys helping others, as she has done over the years at the local parishes like St. Johns kitchen, and other soup kitchens. Sue says she loves Christmas because of the children: she watches them and shares their joy.
At her home she takes care of two parakeet lovebirds, she says that they are good companions. Sue also enjoys eating out at Gregg’s restaurant in Providence with her friends. She also enjoys watching the ice skaters and all the other downtown festivities. Sue revealed to me that she was an avid dancer in her younger days and never turned down a shuffle with a handsome gentleman. With this article we give honorable mention and admiration to Sue Lavoie.
By Stan Kapelewski
Congratulations to the Providence Rescue Mission for receiving this month’s Humanitarian Award for their outstanding service to the homeless community.
For over a year now, five nights a week, the Mission has been feeding and ministering to the men who stay at Harrington Hall. This is an emergency facility that is operated by the State of Rhode Island on the John O. Pastore grounds in Cranston.
They undertook this additional ministry because it came to their attention that due to the state’s financial hardship these men needed help. So to not only bless the men, but also our state, the Mission decided to step to the plate and make a real difference! Continue reading ‘Striving to Make a Difference’
By David Eisenberger
On the first Friday of each month, at Mathewson St. Methodist Church, downtown Providence, there is a poetry slam that’s been going on for many years. This needs dearly to be attended. It’s at the point that Erin, one of the helpers and readers at the slam and myself… will read to those who attend.
How many aspiring poets are out there who want to do a live mic? You could go to the AS220, where it will cost you $4.00 to get up and give a live reading. At the Mathewson Street Church it will cost you nothing and you can get free refreshments with people who shares your same interests.
So let’s make this something everyone wants to do and some place people want to show of their off talents through poetry.
This is a diamond in the rough, where someone can find fame and fortune by being a poet of note. This is for you, if you don’t fear a microphone and are not afraid to vent and express.
The next scheduled poetry slam’s Mar 4th at 3pm.
Fresh blood welcome.
By JoAnn Dyes
On a cold February night in Providence, at the McAuley House, on Elmwood Ave., where the lights were on, the people were streaming in to see the art works from the artist of McAuley House.
The art was displayed among the walls, on cards and on postcards. Which were all for sale. I spoke to Meagan R., an artist and a volunteer at the McAuley House. She has been working hard on her artwork for about a year.
Ronald ‘Ron’, was another artist, whose art was of landscapes. He discovered art while he was in the hospital and stuck with it as well as teaching Origami. He hopes to develop his talents in both areas now that he has moved from being homeless to his own apartment.
All of the art was beautiful and interesting. Aileen Hayes, Ann Nolan, Kyle MacDonald, Jim Gillen, Were some of the notable patrons to take part in the “From The Heart” art show.
A thank you goes out to all the artists with all of their beautiful works and to the volunteers for all their help with the event.
By Joseph Perry
This is more work that remains to be done; the search process to find solutions for constituents should begin now.
The homeless community leaders unanimously voted to develop a few proposals and request a meeting with the R.I. Shelter System leaders to discuss these processes and begin the process to find solution to the shelter constituents problems. Continue reading ‘Are We Going To Do It Right?’
Hi, I am JoAnn and I’m 55 years old. I am a mother of 5 and a grandmother of 6.
I became homeless December 5, 2005 after my husband died from liver cancer. Spending a year staying with friends recovering from surgery, then entered the shelter system in October 2006. Now I am living in the towers at Crossroads.
I started writing for Street Sights in November 2007 as a Staff Writer. I have been writing all my school life and with Street Sights I started again and started to write poetry once more. I write for Street Sights to leave the homeless situation better, for the folks coming in after me.
By Stan Kapelewski
To Gro, consider what this may mean… an opportunity for imagination, knowledge, adventure, and the experiences of our lives to meld together; a situation whereas the mind, body and soul unite to become an entity of their own.
In this relentless world that we exist in, knowledge plays a key factor in all our own “Separate Realities.” By correctly applying the knowledge that we acquire as we advance in our chronological age, knowledge then matures into wisdom. Continue reading ‘Time to Gro: A conceptual and metaphysical voyage of the mind’
By Chris Lewis
Can Hesperus be forgiven? I asked.
Would the Everything’s lose their meanings?
Did mankind ever stand a fighting chance?
Up to the sky I turned; doubt on my mind.
Then, I raised my weary eye and I asked:
Can Hesperus be forgiven? Can he?
Punished for bringing light to man,
Exiled to the final ends of the land.
Chased to and fro while he carries our blame:
For the ten thousand sins of all mankind;
For leading all the macabre massacres;
For his temptations and tribulations.
In the end, have we not been giving choice?
How so… Hesperus can be forgiven.
By Francisco Colber
Section 2: Sympaths
We began to traverse into a forward chamber, catching a glimpse of the Advisor as he hurried along with several other crewmembers. The Briffian advisor, being also a Sympath, turned and looked in our direction.
“Go on Ciia, do not attempt to communicate with them—remember our
protocols.” Continue reading ‘Into the Chrysalis’
By Larry Mitchell
In the 1970’s the homeless shelters were born in the Roger Williams projects.
One, George Mitchell, cleaned the buildings. I remember helping my father clean these apartments set aside for the homeless who migrated to RI looking for a better life, unlike today’s homeless people who are mostly addicts, who are like the children of Israel, hoisted in the wilderness (of addiction). Continue reading ‘Ending Homelessness in America’
By Cassandra Tribe
In the last part of this series, I had mentioned that the initiatives which target housing the chronically homeless as the primary priority have an arc of success that peaks early and then declines as the numbers of the chronically homeless housed is exceeded by new persons entering the homeless population.
In this part, we are going to examine initiatives from the European Union that have proven successful in containing the growth of the population and begun to make inroads to permanently reducing the number of homeless. Continue reading ‘School for Shelter: Foreign Languages’
By Melissa Howard
If you are feeling down, is there anywhere you can go to find someone to talk to? If your world seems to be crushing down on you, is there someone whom you feel safe enough with, to confide in?
Winter can be one of the hardest times for many people—the weather can be unbearably cold and some may spend holidays without friends or family. For some, winter is a time when everything seems to be spinning out of control.
Within the homeless community there is a growing concern about the suicides of close friends and others who maybe thinking of taking this road. Continue reading ‘Where Can Someone Go to Talk?’
By Cassandra Tribe
On Valentine’s Day, President Obama released the fiscal budget for 2012; that following Thursday, he announced plans to radically expand 500 MHz broadband services into
rural areas. It is Marketing and Promotion 101 to understand that the choice of timing of these announcements lets the reception of the news be controlled.
In this case, a decision was made to announce the planned cuts on what can only be termed as a national day of distraction. That alone should be enough to make you sit up and start paying attention. Continue reading ‘Lollipop, Lollipop: The National Budget, Wifi, and a Decade of Pointless Pain’
By Francisco Gonzalez
Let’s face it, nobody wants to think about the issue of suicide, specially around the holidays. But the Providence Place Mall has become the City’s Mecca for suicides, the place of choice for many distraught people. There have been approximately 7 completed suicides there (not counting the unsuccessful attempts).
You may not be aware of this because federal and state law requires a news ban & notification of kin when suicide is involved: there is a time lapse between the event and its news. We have estimated these numbers from news reports and person-to-person interviews—a son of one of our writers, who worked in one of the mall stores told of an individual who leaped inside the vast atrium—that jumper survived. Continue reading ‘Suicide Prevention: Immediate Infrastructure Needed as Providence Place’