Archive for the 'Opinions' Category

Taking Your Life

By Tom Deighan
Sometimes we have to take the blinders off to discuss one of the most difficult subjects — the intentional taking of your own life. We are afraid to say he or she took this precious gift away. It is a situation where you feel no hope. Sometimes the cause is a relationship, a loss of a job, financial worries, trying to compete for a woman — I can remember wanting to take my own life on a cruise and it was a combination of things that led me to the 10 foot waves. People coaxed me out of the water. These situations are often temporary, but in our minds, they appear permanent.

It was not the desperate situation that I thought it was. People often wait the longest of time to get help for their problems. Very often, the person making the decision is not thinking of loved ones who are still here and the tremendous emotional pain — the fear, guilt and shame, to name a few — they will feel in knowing their loved one has done this.

There is a saying that a problem shared, is a problem halved. I like this. Be honest in how you feel. Life will be easier and someday you will not be faced with this decision.

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The Budget Crisis

By David Eisenberger
Right now, this state’s in a dilemma. What has been the writing on the wall now has reared its ugly head. We’re broke and we don’t know how to fix it! The business climate in Rhode Island has been terrible for years.

Over-taxation, poor quality education, an infra-structure that has unraveled; there were layoff notices to “all” 1,926 teachers in the City of Providence alone. Four schools are scheduled to be shut down in June. Rhode Island’s not alone, it’s nationwide and sadly global. With the events of the past few weeks, the tragedy in Japan. When a nation relies on fossil fuel…when a barrel of oil’s price has skyrocketed…The meltdown of nuclear reactors…brings us to a global meltdown.  Our money is worthless, when we “owe” trillions…to other countries. Where are the think tanks?   Continue reading ‘The Budget Crisis’

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Where Are All The Complainers?

By Christopher Clark
After experiencing homelessness myself, it seems there are some homeless people who just love to complain, and they will do so over the most trivial matters. What appears to be missing is how these issues are supposed to be solved. There doesn’t even appear to be any desire to improve matters at all. In fact, these people know that their complaints will do nothing to improve circumstances; but they will go on and on chattering comments in condemnation.

Homelessness can be exhausting but listening to these protestations of fellow homeless people can be equally tiring. Those who are the objects of criticism are generally in the same or worse predicament as the ones passing judgment. Often they are in the same desperate situation. Why does this occur? Do desperate situations lead to desperate desires to complain? Continue reading ‘Where Are All The Complainers?’

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The Trauma Experience

By Tom Deighan

This is a story about irrational fear. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the label for it.

In 1995, my life changed drastically through an incident of big rocks being thrown through the front window of my apartment. My bed was in the other room. I did not realize at first what had happened. All of a sudden loud voices and noises caused me to be fearful. It wasn’t until later that the diagnosis came.

My friend Eric had warned me that he had grown a beard. At Logan Airport, returning from Oregon, his beard scared me. Actually it was an episode of terror.  It was hard to equate 20 years of friendship with this reaction. Continue reading ‘The Trauma Experience’

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A Slice of the Pie

By Tom Deighan

It used to be a good slice of the pie.  Do you remember the days of Pell, Pastore and John Chaffee? When the State budget was tight, all of a sudden federal funds were there. Today, it is a different story. Sometimes the city or business has to find it’s own answer to this problem.

Ripta is one example of this situation. Over the years the federal money would be there and then it would be eliminated. On October 4, 2010 Ripta introduced new hybrid buses and hybrid trolleys. They are powered by clean diesel hybrid electrical propulsion systems, that reduce emissions, save fuel, and are smoother and quieter than conventional buses or trolleys.

They run off gas and batteries. This not only reduces air pollution, but noise pollution as well, which improves the environment for Rhode Islanders. Continue reading ‘A Slice of the Pie’

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Holding Onto My Depression

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’

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Senator Kettle Apologizes?

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?’

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Ending Homelessness in America

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’

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Lollipop, Lollipop: The National Budget, Wifi, and a Decade of Pointless Pain

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’

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Homeless and Hungry at Providence Crossroads

A woman’s story of falling between the cracks, in an already desperate set of circumstances

Hi my name is Mary, Keisha, Dee, Rena or maybe I’m someone you just passed on the street or in the mall or even someone YOU may work with. I am an adult woman that is finding it hard to understand why I am crying myself to sleep hungry every night in such a well-run institution like Crossroads.

I found myself without a safe and warm, or even at times, a comfortable place to lay my head for the night with the blessing of a full belly and sometimes the desperately needed basic human comfort of sisterly companionship. Continue reading ‘Homeless and Hungry at Providence Crossroads’

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Careless Living

By Cassandra Tribe

The new “point and click” school of social justice allows people to do the minimum for justice while reaping the maximum social benefit. Social media allows users to take the concept of presenting ourselves as commodities “for sale” in our relationships and to create actual product packages.

The currency exchanged is acceptance of the online persona we have created that represents who we want to be; the profit is a validation of a false sense of self. Our “self-packaging” has gone beyond offering a list of potential common likes in music, books and movies to now include a superficial labeling of advocacy and social awareness. Continue reading ‘Careless Living’

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Death is Coming to Get You or Someone You Love

By Cathy Aiello

You can be assured that from the moment you are born you are going to die.  So what you do in between is so important.  The choices we make and the way we treat our bodies are critical to our well being.  I once heard it said, “Life is a test.  Life is a trust and life is a temporary assignment.”
Saturday morning July 3rd at approximately 10 o’clock I was awakened by my cell phone ringing.  I had heard it a little earlier in my sleep but didn’t wake up.  As soon as I opened my eyes I had an eerie feeling that Rodney had died.

When I answered the phone, my mom cried out the words, “Rodney died.”  No! No! No!  It has to be a mistake!  My brother can’t die!  I won’t let him.  I love him so much and I am not ready to let him go!  Please God don’t let my brother be dead.

God’s will was not aligned with my will and I had to face reality. Continue reading ‘Death is Coming to Get You or Someone You Love’

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Sarge’s Spin on St. John’s Coat Exchange

Submitted by Cygnus

St. John’s holds annual coat exchange due to bad weather, which otherwise would have been held at the State House lawn, goes awry. Many unworthy people picked up coats… and not just one, but entire bags full of coats.

A certain few have made this a horrifying misery for people who really need a coat. I have witnessed people (and I won’t say whom), grabbing handfuls of coats, whether they fit or not, stuff them into a bag, take them out to their car, and go in and get more, which leaves very few for people who actually need them. Continue reading ‘Sarge’s Spin on St. John’s Coat Exchange’

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Are Food Sharing Programs Illegal? Well, In Orlando, FL…

By Kristen Sherman, Esq.

As many readers are undoubtedly aware, it can be extremely difficult to obtain food while homeless. Since many food pantries and soup kitchens are overcrowded, have limited hours, or are inaccessible due to lack of transportation, many homeless people rely on the generosity of groups and individuals who run formal or informal food sharing programs. Unfortunately, some cities and towns throughout the country have used local laws to limit or prohibit food sharing programs. These restrictions take several forms. Some cities and towns have restricted or limited food sharing through the enforcement of existing zoning laws. While these local ordinances may appear neutral in application, they have the practical effect of limiting food distribution. Other cities and towns have adopted ordinances specifically targeting food sharing. As set forth below, these local ordinances may violate the state or federal Constitutions and may be subject to challenge in court. Continue reading ‘Are Food Sharing Programs Illegal? Well, In Orlando, FL…’

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Waiting on Blue Cross

By Arline Bolvin

Sitting outside Blue Cross Blue Shield on Exchange Street in Providence surrounded by posh new buildings and the Union Station, the portal by which so many college students exit to their hometowns… It’s a calm lazy summer day, a Friday afternoon no less, when thoughts of the water call those of us so smitten to their shores.

But wait a minute! I may be smitten with the idea of lolling on a boat out on the water but I have no real expectation of spending any time there. You see in reality I’m sitting outside Blue Cross considering my pre-existing condition as I apply for coverage. Sure, I know the insurers have agreed to immediate suspension of the pre-existing condition exclusions that have haunted many a subscriber just applying for coverage before me. But still, the horror stories loom large. As I fill out the application I’m in a sketchy what-if-land that I’d rather avoid. Why such fear and loathing? Well those stories of people being denied coverage, denied care, denied, denied, denied. Continue reading ‘Waiting on Blue Cross’

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My Opinion of the Mathewson Street Closing

By Kooma Vieira

The Mathewson Street Church Shelter closed on May 15th, due to funding issues.

I have taken the initiative to go a little deeper in this article to get the truth.

As an advocate for the formally or currently homeless and a writer for Street Sights, I understand that funding may be an issue.  But overall, I see that  Amos House and the Mathewson Street Church are not really fighting for the homeless to have a place to sleep at night. Continue reading ‘My Opinion of the Mathewson Street Closing’

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Our Illegal Foreclosures

To the Editor:

Under the United States Constitution, Amendment XIV, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of the law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

In times in which homelessness is on the rise, no one wants to hear that their homes are being foreclosed upon or that they are being evicted.  But imagine your home being foreclosed on or being evicted from your apartment without any form of notice and to make things even worse, you have to move on the same day.  During the move, a person may lose some or all of their personal possessions. Continue reading ‘Our Illegal Foreclosures’

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Special Memoriam for a Homeless Hero

Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax, a homeless man residing in New York City, died on Sunday, April 25th after he came to the aid of a woman being attacked at 5:40am on 144th Street at 88th Road in Jamaica, Queens. Mr. Tale-Yax was stabbed several times in the chest and collapsed as he chased his assailant. He was 31 years old.

Over twenty people saw Mr. Tale-Yax collapsed and bleeding on the sidewalk and either decided to ignore him or did not call for help. Fire and Rescue did not arrive to assist for an hour and twenty minutes.

Street Sights staff member David Eisenberger wrote a poem reflecting on this sad event. Continue reading ‘Special Memoriam for a Homeless Hero’

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Who’s really watching our children

By Melissa Howard

Recently I was watching the six o’clock news. They were doing a story on a man, a Department of Children, Youth, and Family probation officer, who was arrested for selling heroin while on the job.

For many, this was shocking, but for me not so much. I have been telling people for years that the department needs a major overhaul, in all their departments.

Continue reading ‘Who’s really watching our children’

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Life experiences help others

By Joe Lassiter

My name is Joe. I am a recovering addict who 3 years ago was homeless, a drunk.
After more than 10 programs and 10 relapses, through hard work and determination, I am grateful to have my life together. Continue reading ‘Life experiences help others’

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