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Deputy Majority Leader Mary Kay Harris reminds us all to be the best street sweepers we can be at Providence’s 16th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards & Hall of Fame Ceremony hosted by Mayor Jorge O. Elorza.
In 1967, Dr. King in a speech to a group of middle school students in Philadelphia stated: “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’”
Congratulations to Shawndell Burney-Speaks, Detective Anthony Roberson, and to the family of the late Laura Rodriguez who live, and lived, in service to others. They each were the best street sweepers Providence has to offer.
Council President David A. Salvatore and Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris introduced a resolution to establish the Special Committee to Study Homelessness in Providence at tonight’s City Council meeting.
“As elected representatives of the people of Providence, as well as members of this community, we have a moral obligation to help the homeless,” stated City Council President David A. Salvatore. “In order for Providence to be a truly strong city, we must ensure the protections of all people. We must enact policies that will reduce the level of homelessness in our capital City, and I am confident that this committee will work to find solutions that will end homelessness in Providence one day
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), 39% of people experiencing homelessness nationwide are female, 21% are children, and another 10% are between the ages of 18 and 24. While African-Americans are just 13% of the U.S. population, more than 40% of homeless people in the U.S. are African-American. In 2017 the number of unsheltered homeless in America increased 9.4% from 2016 to 2017.
“As an African American woman it is not lost on me that people of color and women experience homelessness at far greater levels than others in our society,” stated Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris, Ward 11. “I’ve worked my whole career helping people rise out of homelessness, and this opportunity to lead a committee to study and to enact change makes me very proud.”
The Special Committee to Study Homelessness will be composed of:
- Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris, Chair
- Councilman Nicholas Narducci Jr., Vice-Chair
- Councilwoman Carmen Castillo
- Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune
- Councilman Samuel Zurier