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Advocates for homeless fear disaster in RI COVID winter


Even amid the gloom of a terrible year, advocates for homeless people took some time on a recent Friday in late October to recognize the work they’ve been able to do amid the COVID pandemic. 

Because it’s 2020, it happened via Zoom. Amid speeches from elected officials and recipients of annual awards, Caitlin Frumerie, executive director of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, provided a status update on homelessness in Rhode Island. She started with a bit of clipart summing up the year: A dumpster on fire, labeled 2020.

“It is getting worse, and really it’s because of the gap between income and what housing costs in our state,” Frumerie told attendees of the coalition’s annual awards breakfast.  

As Rhode Island heads into the coldest months of the year, the state of homelessness is an unfolding disaster, an emerging crisis of unsheltered homelessness, with a state response that has been too little, too late, and with too much red tape.


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