On March 28, at the Crown Plaza in Warwick, advocates, state represents, including Governor Lincoln Chafee and other organizations, gathered for Rhode Island Coalition’s annual luncheon.
The ceremony was hosted by Mario Hilario, of NBC 10. There were greetings from the Mayor of Warwick, Scott Advedisian and also from Governor Chafee.
The key speaker was Laura Green Zeilinger, of the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, Lead Regional Coordinator. She spoke of how beneficial the program ‘Open Doors’ would be, in the fight to ending homelessness in the state of Rhode Island. Open Doors, was part of the President Obama’s 10 year plan to ending homelessness that he introduced last year. Ms. Zeilinger congratulated Governor Chafee for restarting the Interagency Council on Homelessness, which fell by the wayside in 2009.
Jim Ryczek, of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, spoke of the great need of affordable housing. Rhode Island is one of nine states with no permanent funding of money for affordable housing. Governor Chafee dropped $1.5 million from the Neighborhood Opportunities Program (NOP) from his proposed 2012 state budget.
There were awards given out to the five outstanding advocates, by Rabbi Alan Flam, Board of Directors of the RI Coalition, Swearer Center and of Brown University.
John Joyce of the Rhode Island Homeless Advocacy Project, Homeless Input Committee and is an outreach worker at Riverwood Housing First, received the Senator Jack Reed Advocacy Award by Senator Jack Reed.
Susan Jazrosz, Director of Shelter and Housing Services and Family Resources Community Action, was given the Carol McGovern award. Her brother took the award in honor. Sadly Ms. Jazrosz passed January and will be missed.
Flo Jonic, of WRNI, was given the Media Award for Outstanding Coverage.
Jim Gillen, Manager of the Providence Center’s Recovery Services and the Anchor Recovery Community Center, was given the Judy Soares and John Coen award.
Stephen Miller, volunteer with the homeless legal clinic, was given the Homeless Legal Clinic Award.
Congratulations to the honorees and thank you for all your hard work.