sean trott

Budget Cuts
By Sean Trott

The state is over spending
so cut homeless agencies
Voted to cut NOP
Although they help fill the vacancies
Across our state there’s housing
That the homeless can’t afford
But we overlook the facts
The issues continue to be ignored
How many have to become homeless?
In order for them to see
I guess we aren’t even close
Although the homeless number
climbs beyond 4,003
We rallied showing how important
This program was to us all
They didn’t want to listen
They chose to dismiss us to the hall
We face a new challenge
How will we survive?
When government targets
The less fortunate too deprive
We are truly in need
Of help and support
But I guess it ends as another
Lesson taught
The day has arrived that all of us
Are forced to fear
We are in an emergency situation
Screaming for them to hear
Can’t they see they’re eliminating
The middle and lower class
We are only asking for a chance
Not expecting a free pass
The wealthy remain stable
Continue to look down on the rest
The emergency broadcast
system is speaking
Except “this is not a test”
We have reached crucial times
We are poor as we can be
I want to be helped and heard
Stop poverty from raining down on me
Let us have the chance we are entitled to in this
American promised land
Don’t walk over or push us aside
Please lend us a hand

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Book Launch - Paradise Bound 2008 030

Mothers
By Sonia Golt

Like an Ocean deep within her
The love was again portrayed
For the children she had carried
Nine months till she gave them birth

There is not a greater love
For a woman to have known
Than the love she feels inside her
For the children that she bore

No one really ever warns you
Even though books you have read
That mention love for your children
Is the greatest love on earth!

This love can sometimes be painful
For their suffering you bear
No matter how many years
You will still forever care

Atoms fly within your body
Like little love hearts galore
Whenever you see the faces
Of your kids as they grow old…

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Simple Pleasures
By Sonia Golt

You know what makes me happy
the simple things in life
Like giving you a tender kiss
or just holding you tight

I love to hear the rain outside
and see the moon that shines
to smell a perfumed rose
or gaze up to the sky

I like to see the birds in spring
and hear their chirpy songs
and I adore seeing you smile
when we are both alone

I love to touch a baby’s face
because its silky soft
and to hold hands with my old man
who needs my firm support

I love to listen to your voice
when you call out my name
and for these moments I thank the Lord
for never losing faith!

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timothy seal

BRICKS
By Timothy Seal

Brick’s looking in at me
Ceaselessly staring me down
Not a thought can I keep to myself
The mortar taunting me
“Look! Look at me!”
“Look at how I stick!”
I scream but it does no good
It does no good at all
I scream but it does no good
Because the bricks absorb it all

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An Ode To Life
By Timothy Seal

Such is the life of an old sea snail
Silently sauntering within the boundaries of the sea
Unable to comprehend the beauty engulfing it
Simply because it is an old sea snail

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Alone
By Robert J. Levasseur

Alone now, and I don’t like it.
Forgotten and not remembered.
Never thought of, ever;
Never dreamed of;
Never visited alone
And hoping for love.
My love is gone away.
I wait for her return.
The days and nights are long
As I wait for my love’s return.
When will she appear?
My loneliness surrounds me
And overtakes me.
Is it love, or fear of being alone?

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Mr. Perry’s Service

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Held at the Mathewson Street Church in Providence

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Both Sides Now

By Tom Deighan

I’ve seen both sides of the fence now
Someone who has had the dollars to
Do most of what he wants
Presently finding it hard to
Scrape two nickels together
While opening the store door
The eyes that looked at me
Were ones of Hope
And they were mine
“Please help me…” the dog did say
Although his mouth was closed
On the way out, I stopped
To run my fingers through his fur
He was a stray, who had
Carelessly been thrown aside.
The animal enjoyed my
Small amount of affection.
And when it was over,
He just stared and said,
“Why do you leave me behind?”
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In the Works: Legislative Roundup

4/26/2011                 Blazejewski bill would aid investment in social ventures

STATE HOUSE – Social ventures – privately-funded companies seeking to serve a public good – are a growing trend in new business formation. Rep. Christopher R. Blazejewski has submitted a piece of legislation that would help Rhode Island become a national leader in this emerging economic sector.

“With many students graduating from our colleges and universities with a focus on entrepreneurship and community service, Rhode Island is well-positioned to become the Silicon Valley of the social venture movement,” said Representative Blazejewski (D-Dist. 2, Providence, East Providence). “As a tool for economic development, it is critical that we aid investment and foster growth in these socially responsible businesses.”

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4/26/2011                 Bill would recoup lost revenue from companies getting tax credits that relocate out of RI       Continue reading ‘In the Works: Legislative Roundup’

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Every Day Holds Something New

By Lance Ellis

Always looking forward…
Never behind you…
Nothing else matters.
Never second guess your first thought!
Guard your heart…if not, it might be ripped out!
Look for the one that is trustworthy.
Some only want to play games (NO TIME IN LIFE FOR THIS).
Keep an open mind.
Something good is just around the corner.
People come and go, but true friends stick by your side!
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Homeless Experience and Grief

By Chandra L Stone, M.S. ED., NCC

It is a sad fact that when one looks at grief, one does not see much about the homeless population in the literature or in research. Often, these people have such high levels of grief and trauma resulting from crisis situations like abuse, bad choices resulting in self-esteem issues, home loss, not being able to support onself, incarceration or other consequences. When you look at the homeless population with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it can show a sad state of affairs.

Even if the person manages to find a homeless shelter, often the time period for stay and policies around stays negate the ability to remain for any length of time and get assistance on issues that made this person susceptible to become homeless. Only their physiological needs are met and only for short periods of time. Even if a transitional home with a longer stay is found, regardless of the best intentions of those running the facilities, these people often do not get their safety needs met. They know that at any time they could be thrown out if they break the rules.  They also know that the time of stay is limited. When leaving transitional facilities the homeless do not maintain the support structure that was built.  They are often embarassed by the fact that they were homeless. This negates the ability to even think about belonging and needs being met as they hide that part of themselves. Thus there can even be grief about not being able to be open about oneself. While that is not always the case with people in transition, it is more often than not. Continue reading ‘Homeless Experience and Grief’

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Warning Signs of Suicide Risk

By The Samaritans
Most people who are feeling depressed or desperate enough to consider suicide give clues to how they’re feeling. You can be the first step towards help for someone you care about by learning to recognize these clues to suicide risk.

Verbal Signs

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How to Get “Self-Control” Over the Urges and Cravings of a Bad Habit

Self-control is what you build up, develop, create and learn by controlling your behavior repeatedly. We should regard self-control as a skill. It is not a character trait or a thing you either have or don’t have that decides if you can control your behavior If someone says, “I have no self-control over my drinking or drugging, or eating sweets or whatever,” it might be asked, “Are you well practiced at resisting your urges or opportunities to use or to overeat the wrong things?” The answer would likely be, “No.” This person is well practiced at giving in to those urges and opportunities to use. (No criticism from me! I did this for years and years.)

Getting control over your urges and opportunities is like getting control over a bicycle or roller skates or anything else. You’re not going to start out as an expert. You will get control of it only by forcing yourself at first to act differently than you feel! It looks like the bike should fall over, and it may feel very difficult or strange, but by practicing over and over, you learn to ride the bike! So the reason people correctly “feel” that they don’t have self-control is because they haven’t been practicing what would give it to them. In this case, the skill is in resisting urges or opportunities to use. Continue reading ‘How to Get “Self-Control” Over the Urges and Cravings of a Bad Habit’

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Alone

By Stacey Marie

Hard to get by on my own
Never thought of the loneliness
Without you
Today…
Just another moment in time
Spent all by myself in my mind
Wandering…Wondering…
Why am I so alone?
Tomorrow is never quite clear…
It will never fill up the void that I feel
So I shut out the part of myself
Once so alive
Alive, but only to survive another day
Without you in my arms, in my mind
Alone for the rest of my life
Like a breath of air
It will be over too soon
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Who Was General Burnside?

By Dennis Boisvert and Stan Kapelewski

Across from Kennedy Plaza in Burnside Park there is a statue honoring a man on a horse in a military uniform. This man is General Ambrose Everett Burnside. He was the fourth of nine children, and was born to Edghill and Pamela Burnside of Liberty, Indiana on May 23, 1824. As a young boy, Burnside attended the Liberty Seminary until his mother’s death in 1841. Cutting short his education, Burnside’s father apprenticed him to a local tailor. After learning the trade, Burnside elected to utilize his father’s political connections to obtain an appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point in 1843.

Graduating in 1847, he then served in the Mexican War. In 1849, Burnside was wounded in the neck during a fight with the Apaches in New Mexico. Twice Burnside was offered command of the Army at the Potomac and twice he refused. Burnside knew he was best at a Corps command level. He proved himself a successful commander at the battle of South Mountain, giving General McClellan a chance to destroy Lee’s army at Antietam. But McClellan attacked piecemeal. General Burnside made a good fight at a stone bridge but he had received orders late in the day. He was slow in taking the bridge, giving General Lee time to build his lines.
Continue reading ‘Who Was General Burnside?’

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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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Struggle

By Arline Bolvin
Can we protect ourselves from struggle?
Not if we want to be alive and in the world.
When I avoid simple communications and rely on technology
to provide only what A human voice can reveal
I put myself at the mercy of that technology.
Fear of stress and struggle creates more stress and struggle
than just giving in to the reality that life is struggle.
Creation is struggle. Love is struggle. Friendship is struggle.
Working is struggle. Parenting is a lifelong struggle.
Just as Jacob struggled through the night with the Lord
We struggle through our lives with ourselves,
with others, with God, with every aspect of life.
Avoidance of life’s basic truths only
brings more pain and struggle that
does not have to always be painful.
We can struggle without feeling anger.
We can struggle with humor and love
We can laugh and sing as we try each day
To recognize ourselves in each other
And know with certainty that only love conquers all.
That the effects of our actions, thoughts, and words,
Can seem permanent but really God has the last say
The Universe aligns itself with love.
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Angels… Japan’s Song

By Deborah Shepard

Outside in each home, lighted prayers are lit
I breathe with each memory needed to repair the cause
Gather the hearts sending to their sides,
Proud honor they carry families
Touch the serpentine sandals with celestial beings
Feeling life’s miracles with one last song
Breathe with mine thy heavens
With each cascading lever or door
Chase the sadness away
This is a prayer, to change light
Spiritual hearts gather now, God’s plight
Heavens, life orb, with divine spirits
Unseen angels watch thee, to rebuild life there
Questioning angels relive the hearts melodies, seek me
Helping one prayer at a time
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Specialty Homeless Courts: Bringing Justice to the Streets

By Amy Goins

Homeless individuals are often cited for minor violations such as sleeping in public places, public drinking or solicitation. While these infractions seem minor, they are all considered criminal offenses. These small violations could be easily resolved, but homeless individuals who are unfamiliar with court processes and are focused on getting food and shelter on a daily basis, may intentionally or inadvertently miss court dates. As a result, they end up facing additional fines or even arrests arising out of the missed court appearance and a small problem becomes a much larger one.

To address the unique circumstances and difficulties of homeless people with minor criminal violations, some states have developed a homeless court program. The movement to create homeless courts originated in 1989 in California. The Superior Court there began holding special sessions at local homeless shelters to help homeless people resolve misdemeanor charges against them. Since that time, California has expanded its program and other states have developed similar homeless court programs. According to the American Bar Association, homeless courts exist in Michigan, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Utah and Washington. Continue reading ‘Specialty Homeless Courts: Bringing Justice to the Streets’

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Linda Levin: Her Heart’s in the Words

By JoAnn Dyes

I was given the assignment to write about Linda Levin, not the actress, but the journalist Linda Lotridge Levin. She does not give interviews. Thanks to the Internet, I can do this article. She hit the ground running in 1959 after graduating from Michigan State University and Boston University. Professor Levin began her career at The Providence Journal. She was also the photo editor. When she left the Journal, she became an award winning freelance writer specializing in health, medicine and travel. She even had a syndicated column. She has also edited two books on Rhode Island history.
In 1983, she became a faculty member at University of Rhode Island’s Department of Journalism. Professor Levin has served as the chairwoman since 2001. She has spent the last decade focused on first amendment issues, in particular the area of access to public information. She has written several books and monographs. She has been a fellow of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, the American Press Institute and the Annenberg Washington Program. She has received three grants to work with journalists, first in the Soviet Union and then in Russia. She is a former president of the Rhode Island Press Association and is a board member and founder of ACCESS/Rhode Island, a coalition of organizations devoted to open government. In 1999, she was given the Yankee Quill Award by the New England Society of Newspaper Editors and the New England Society of Professional Journalists and was inducted into the Academy of New England Journalists. Her latest book is The Making of FDR: The Story of Stephen T. Early: America’s First Modern Press Secretary. Her teaching specialties are media law, history of American journalism, advanced reporting and media recently held a workshop for Street Sights Journalism Training. This year, she was one of three journalists inducted into Press Hall of Fame.
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