[Hpn] Street Dweller Dies

homey homey@ids.net
Tue, 30 Jan 2001 08:15:29 -0500


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Homeless man killed by car identified=20
 Richard Kojoain, 48, is described as a "real gentleman" who primarily =
lived outdoors.=20

By KAREN A. DAVIS=20
Journal Staff Writer=20

PROVIDENCE -- The police have released the name of the homeless man who =
was hit by a car and killed as he pushed a shopping cart down a city =
street early Saturday morning.=20

Richard Kojoain, 48, was killed as a result of injuries he sustained in =
the 1:48 a.m. accident, said Sgt. William Thompson.=20

Kojoain -- who homeless advocates say lived on the streets of Providence =
-- was identified by out-of-town relatives Sunday.=20

Kojoain was hit by a Volkswagen driven by Eduardo Gomez, 32, of 50 =
Kneeland St., Cranston, who was traveling south on Canal Street, =
alongside the Roger Williams National Memorial Park.=20

The police yesterday said the accident was still under investigation and =
that no charges had been filed against the driver.=20

Officials from Amos House and the Traveler's Aid Society said they were =
not sure if Kojoain had taken advantage of their services. Traveler's =
Aid officials said Kojoain was not listed on their client roster.=20

Catherine Rhodes, of the People to End Homelessness, said it was not =
Kojoain's nature to seek much assistance and he often shied away from =
crowds. She said he primarily lived outdoors, occasionally seeking =
refuge at a homeless shelter on Prairie Avenue, which has been filled to =
capacity in recent months.=20

"He did his own thing in a quiet way and didn't hurt anybody," said =
Rhodes, who said she spoke to Kojoain about every other week.=20

The homeless community knew of Kojoain as a loner who collected =
discarded cans at night, had a drinking problem, but did not bother =
others. "He tried to deal with his life in a dignified way," she said.=20

His "roaming area" included the State House, which is where he could =
have been coming from early Saturday morning, Rhodes said.=20

"It's a real tragedy," Rhodes said. "He lived outside. That was his =
choice and he may have felt that he had no other options . . . He was a =
real gentleman, though. You could tell by his manners and the way he =
acted that he was raised very well in a family environment."=20

Rhodes said Kojoain's death is reminiscent of the death of another =
homeless man, who died of hypothermia in 1997 after seeking refuge in a =
downtown dumpster.=20

Both cases illustrate the fact that "living out on the streets is not =
safe for anybody," Rhodes said, and that more should be done to provide =
affordable housing to all Rhode Islanders.=20


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<DIV><FONT size=3D2><STRONG><FONT size=3D3>Homeless man killed by car =
identified <!/HEADLINE><BR><IMG =
src=3D"http://www.projo.com/images/dot.gif"></FONT></STRONG>=20
<FONT color=3D#000033><!CONTEXT>Richard Kojoain, 48, is described as a =
"real=20
gentleman" who primarily lived outdoors.=20
<BR><!/CONTEXT></FONT><BR><!BYLINE><FONT face=3D"helvetica, arial" =
size=3D2>By KAREN=20
A. DAVIS </FONT><FONT face=3D"helvetica, arial" =
size=3D2><BR></FONT><FONT=20
face=3D"helvetica, arial" size=3D2>Journal Staff Writer </FONT><FONT=20
face=3D"helvetica, arial" size=3D2><BR></FONT><!/BYLINE><BR><LOCATION=20
PROVIDENCE>PROVIDENCE</LOCATION> -- The police have released the name of =
the=20
homeless man who was hit by a car and killed as he pushed a shopping =
cart down a=20
city street early Saturday morning. <BR><BR>Richard Kojoain, 48, was =
killed as a=20
result of injuries he sustained in the 1:48 a.m. accident, said Sgt. =
William=20
Thompson. <BR><BR>Kojoain -- who homeless advocates say lived on the =
streets of=20
Providence -- was identified by out-of-town relatives Sunday. =
<BR><BR>Kojoain=20
was hit by a Volkswagen driven by Eduardo Gomez, 32, of 50 Kneeland St., =

Cranston, who was traveling south on Canal Street, alongside the Roger =
Williams=20
National Memorial Park. <BR><BR>The police yesterday said the accident =
was still=20
under investigation and that no charges had been filed against the =
driver.=20
<BR><BR>Officials from Amos House and the Traveler's Aid Society said =
they were=20
not sure if Kojoain had taken advantage of their services. Traveler's =
Aid=20
officials said Kojoain was not listed on their client roster. =
<BR><BR>Catherine=20
Rhodes, of the People to End Homelessness, said it was not Kojoain's =
nature to=20
seek much assistance and he often shied away from crowds. She said he =
primarily=20
lived outdoors, occasionally seeking refuge at a homeless shelter on =
Prairie=20
Avenue, which has been filled to capacity in recent months. <BR><BR>"He =
did his=20
own thing in a quiet way and didn't hurt anybody," said Rhodes, who said =
she=20
spoke to Kojoain about every other week. <BR><BR>The homeless community =
knew of=20
Kojoain as a loner who collected discarded cans at night, had a drinking =

problem, but did not bother others. "He tried to deal with his life in a =

dignified way," she said. <BR><BR>His "roaming area" included the State =
House,=20
which is where he could have been coming from early Saturday morning, =
Rhodes=20
said. <BR><BR>"It's a real tragedy," Rhodes said. "He lived outside. =
That was=20
his choice and he may have felt that he had no other options . . . He =
was a real=20
gentleman, though. You could tell by his manners and the way he acted =
that he=20
was raised very well in a family environment." <BR><BR>Rhodes said =
Kojoain's=20
death is reminiscent of the death of another homeless man, who died of=20
hypothermia in 1997 after seeking refuge in a downtown dumpster. =
<BR><BR>Both=20
cases illustrate the fact that "living out on the streets is not safe =
for=20
anybody," Rhodes said, and that more should be done to provide =
affordable=20
housing to all Rhode Islanders. <BR></FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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