Homeless Like Me
By Bob Plain on December 18, 2012
The best thing about being a digital journalist on the homelessness beat is that the viral nature of the internet can reconnect people with estranged family members who might be living on the streets. Here’s hoping such is the case with Greg Boisselle, whom I met while reporting the Homeless Like Me project. Boisselle told [...]
By Bob Plain on December 2, 2012
If any good came from my Thanksgiving weekend Homeless Like Me project, it might be that it focused some attention on the people without homes rather than homelessness as a social ill or what some call the homeless industrial complex. Tim White hosted an excellent conversation about it on Newsmakers this weekend. (The segment on [...]
By Paula Hodges on November 27, 2012
In a fitting follow up to Bob Plain’s five part series “Homeless Like Me,” Drinking Liberally Providence will showcase the important work of the RI Coalition for the Homeless tomorrow night, Wednesday November 28 from 7pm – 9pm at Wild Colonial Tavern. Participants are encouraged to bring new pairs or packages of socks to donate [...]
By Bob Plain on November 26, 2012
Homelessness in Rhode Island, by and large, does not look like it does in the dispatches I filed during my 48 hours of living on the streets and in a shelter. In fact, the slice of homelessness that I portrayed plays to the worst stereotypes about those without homes: that they are drunks, drug addicts, [...]
By Bob Plain on November 24, 2012
Sleeping at Harrington Hall, the overnight shelter in Cranston, is something of a mix between being in prison and being at a frat house for old men. The very spacious, former gymnasium/auditorium at the Pastore Center state services campus, was even once a part of the prison system. The building somehow related to the psych [...]
By Bob Plain on November 23, 2012
One of the most common reasons people are homeless is because of substance abuse. This isn’t reason to shun them. Alcoholism and drug dependency are diseases, and diseases aren’t easy to overcome all by yourself. Especially not when every single aspect of life is a struggle, as can be the case when your homeless. It [...]
By Bob Plain on November 23, 2012
Words can’t describe how thankful I am for the spate of warm weather this Thanksgiving weekend. I’m sure the thousands of other people who spent the night sleeping on streets of Providence would concur. Because I know the area, it’s well protected, grassy and soft and – most importantly – close to other humans in [...]
By Bob Plain on November 22, 2012
Billy Cormier became the first fellow I connected with as I began my 48 hours of living on the streets of Providence when, by way of introducing myself, I walked up to the park bench he was sitting on in Burnside Park and asked him where the free meal was. I had talked to a [...]
By Bob Plain on November 21, 2012
As you sit down to your second helping of Thanksgiving dinner to watch the Patriots game on your big screen TV, please take a moment to think about the almost 5,000 of your neighbors here in the Ocean State who are homeless.
As you settle in for the second half, and maybe a third helping of turkey with all the fixings, they will either be vying for one of the too few beds at the local shelters. Or, worse, looking for a place to sleep outside for the night.
And I’m going to be there with them. I’m celebrating Thanksgiving this year by spending 48 hours on the streets of Providence.