[Hpn] Homeless Ask To Share Shelter With Hurricane Katrina Evacuees

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Fri, 21 Oct 2005 06:12:21 -0400


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Homeless ask to share shelter with Hurricane Katrina evacuees

After getting no response to a letter it sent to Governor Carcieri, a =
group of 10 advocates takes its cause to his State House office.

Friday, October 21, 2005

BY ELIZABETH GUDRAIS
Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE -- A homeless shelter is no place to raise a child, Catherine =
Rhodes told the governor's staff yesterday.

She would know.

Rhodes was homeless in the early 1990s, and lived in shelters with her =
young son, Joe. Many emergency shelters have little privacy and no =
appropriate place for children to play or do homework. "You're basically =
parenting in public," Rhodes said. "It's not a good environment."

Rhodes, who now heads the advocacy group People to End Homelessness, is =
asking Governor Carcieri to open up the Anchorage apartments in =
Middletown as lodging for homeless people. Hurricane Katrina evacuees =
from Louisiana and Mississippi live in some units, but the rest of the =
apartments sit empty, Rhodes said.

"These families could have apartments they wouldn't have to leave every =
day," she said.

People to End Homelessness sent Carcieri a letter two weeks ago, but =
said they got no response. So yesterday, 10 coalition members went to =
the State House. Carrying a banner reading "House RI Families" in orange =
and green block letters, they marched up the marble steps, into the =
State Room and up to the governor's secretary.

The governor's communications director, Steve Kass, and his policy =
coordinator, David Tremblay, came out to meet with them. Kass and =
Tremblay assured the group that the governor's staff recognizes the =
shortage of shelter space, and is meeting every two weeks to discuss =
what to do about it.

"Most of the shelters are full," Kass said. "We don't have enough space =
-- there's no question. It's a terrible problem."

As for the Middletown situation, that's "complicated," Tremblay said.

Last month, GMH Military Housing, the company that owns the Anchorage =
apartments, announced plans to sell them to a nonprofit that would =
convert them into subsidized housing, but that plan fell through, and =
GMH is now marketing the property to other interested buyers.

At any rate, the hurricane evacuees are staying there on the Federal =
Emergency Management Agency's dime, and the federal government had =
special access to the apartments because the complex used to be Navy =
housing, Tremblay said.

After the meeting, coalition members expressed dismay at the lack of a =
concrete solution. "The response that we got was a total cop-out, in my =
opinion," Rhodes' son, Joe Freitas, said.

Freitas, now a 21-year-old political science major at Providence =
College, said his experience living in shelters as a child inspired him =
to advocate for better conditions in shelters and more affordable =
apartments.

Back then, he said, "I couldn't live a normal life. I had no place to =
play after school. I couldn't invite friends over."

Admissions to Rhode Island shelters rose 6 percent in fiscal 2004, =
according to the Rhode Island Emergency Food and Shelter Board. During =
that year, a record 6,020 people entered emergency shelters in Rhode =
Island, and the number of families in shelters increased 8 percent to an =
all-time high of 794.

Crossroads Rhode Island absorbs much of the overflow, but people sleep =
on cots in a large room, Rhodes said. She said people slept on chairs at =
Crossroads last week when the Welcome Arnold shelter in Cranston closed =
due to a water emergency.

If the Middletown apartments aren't available, the coalition challenged =
the governor, then just find someplace -- anyplace.

"There are lots of empty buildings in the city," Julia Wolfson, a =
22-year-old Brown University senior who heads the student group Housing =
Opportunities for People Everywhere, said. "It's just how much effort =
they want to put toward it."
















William Charles Tinker

New Hampshire Homeless  / Founded 11-28-99
25 Granite Street
Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640  USA
Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human rights.
1-603-286-2492
http://www.missingkids.com
http://www.nationalhomeless.org
http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org

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<DIV><FONT size=3D5><STRONG>&nbsp;</STRONG><FONT size=3D3><A=20
href=3D"http://www.projo.com/eastbay/content/projo_20051021_homeless.1d65=
4109.html">http://www.projo.com/eastbay/content/projo_20051021_homeless.1=
d654109.html</A></FONT></FONT>
<H2 class=3Dvitstoryheadline>Homeless ask to share shelter with =
Hurricane Katrina=20
evacuees</H2>
<P><FONT size=3D+1>
<H3 class=3Dvitstorydeck>After getting no response to a letter it sent =
to Governor=20
Carcieri, a group of 10 advocates takes its cause to his State House=20
office.</H3></FONT>
<P><FONT size=3D-1><B>
<H5 class=3Dvitstorydate>Friday, October 21, 2005</H5></B></FONT>
<P><FONT size=3D-1><B>
<H4 class=3Dvitstorybyline>BY ELIZABETH GUDRAIS<BR>Journal Staff=20
Writer</H4></B></FONT><SPAN class=3Dvitstorybody>
<P>
<P><SPAN class=3Dlinelead>PROVIDENCE</SPAN> -- A homeless shelter is no =
place to=20
raise a child, Catherine Rhodes told the governor's staff yesterday.</P>
<P>She would know.</P>
<P>Rhodes was homeless in the early 1990s, and lived in shelters with =
her young=20
son, Joe. Many emergency shelters have little privacy and no appropriate =
place=20
for children to play or do homework. "You're basically parenting in =
public,"=20
Rhodes said. "It's not a good environment."</P>
<P>Rhodes, who now heads the advocacy group People to End Homelessness, =
is=20
asking Governor Carcieri to open up the Anchorage apartments in =
Middletown as=20
lodging for homeless people. Hurricane Katrina evacuees from Louisiana =
and=20
Mississippi live in some units, but the rest of the apartments sit =
empty, Rhodes=20
said.</P>
<P>"These families could have apartments they wouldn't have to leave =
every day,"=20
she said.</P>
<P>People to End Homelessness sent Carcieri a letter two weeks ago, but =
said=20
they got no response. So yesterday, 10 coalition members went to the =
State=20
House. Carrying a banner reading "House RI Families" in orange and green =
block=20
letters, they marched up the marble steps, into the State Room and up to =
the=20
governor's secretary.</P>
<P>The governor's communications director, Steve Kass, and his policy=20
coordinator, David Tremblay, came out to meet with them. Kass and =
Tremblay=20
assured the group that the governor's staff recognizes the shortage of =
shelter=20
space, and is meeting every two weeks to discuss what to do about =
it.</P>
<P>"Most of the shelters are full," Kass said. "We don't have enough =
space --=20
there's no question. It's a terrible problem."</P>
<P>As for the Middletown situation, that's "complicated," Tremblay =
said.</P>
<P>Last month, GMH Military Housing, the company that owns the Anchorage =

apartments, announced plans to sell them to a nonprofit that would =
convert them=20
into subsidized housing, but that plan fell through, and GMH is now =
marketing=20
the property to other interested buyers.</P>
<P>At any rate, the hurricane evacuees are staying there on the Federal=20
Emergency Management Agency's dime, and the federal government had =
special=20
access to the apartments because the complex used to be Navy housing, =
Tremblay=20
said.</P>
<P>After the meeting, coalition members expressed dismay at the lack of =
a=20
concrete solution. "The response that we got was a total cop-out, in my=20
opinion," Rhodes' son, Joe Freitas, said.</P>
<P>Freitas, now a 21-year-old political science major at Providence =
College,=20
said his experience living in shelters as a child inspired him to =
advocate for=20
better conditions in shelters and more affordable apartments.</P>
<P>Back then, he said, "I couldn't live a normal life. I had no place to =
play=20
after school. I couldn't invite friends over."</P>
<P>Admissions to Rhode Island shelters rose 6 percent in fiscal 2004, =
according=20
to the Rhode Island Emergency Food and Shelter Board. During that year, =
a record=20
6,020 people entered emergency shelters in Rhode Island, and the number =
of=20
families in shelters increased 8 percent to an all-time high of 794.</P>
<P>Crossroads Rhode Island absorbs much of the overflow, but people =
sleep on=20
cots in a large room, Rhodes said. She said people slept on chairs at =
Crossroads=20
last week when the Welcome Arnold shelter in Cranston closed due to a =
water=20
emergency.</P>
<P>If the Middletown apartments aren't available, the coalition =
challenged the=20
governor, then just find someplace -- anyplace.</P>
<P>"There are lots of empty buildings in the city," Julia Wolfson, a =
22-year-old=20
Brown University senior who heads the student group Housing =
Opportunities for=20
People Everywhere, said. "It's just how much effort they want to put =
toward=20
it."</P>
<P>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</P>
<P><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT></P></SPAN></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>William Charles Tinker</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>New Hampshire Homeless&nbsp; / Founded=20
11-28-99<BR>25 Granite Street<BR>Northfield,N.H. 03276-1640&nbsp;=20
USA<BR>Advocates,activists for disabled,displaced human=20
rights.<BR>1-603-286-2492<BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.missingkids.com">http://www.missingkids.com</A><BR><A =

href=3D"http://www.nationalhomeless.org">http://www.nationalhomeless.org<=
/A><BR><A=20
href=3D"http://www.newhampshirehomeless.org">http://www.newhampshirehomel=
ess.org</A><BR></FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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