North Providence – When Lynn Loveday visited Harrington Hall (the state’s largest homeless shelter that routinely houses 88 men a night) she was appalled. She left that visit determined to do something to address a situation that seemed to her unacceptable and immoral. Fortunate for homeless advocates, Loveday’s compassion and commitment was backed by RI Council 94, AFSCME, AFL-CIO where Loveday serves as the State Vice-President.
After educating herself about the issue of homelessness, Loveday sought to work on addressing both the short and long-term problems of homelessness that led to 4,868 Rhode Islanders experiencing homelessness in 2012. To deal with the short-term problems, Loveday involved the Council in holding a donation drive to collect much-needed items for the shelters. The donation drive began prior to the Thanksgiving Holiday and concluded this week.On Wednesday, December 18th staff from various homeless shelters around the state came to the Council offices to collect the hundreds of donated items.
Speaking at the event, Loveday explained, “Rhode Island Council 94, AFSCME members and the State of Rhode Island conducted a donation drive to help the homeless this Holiday Season. The donation drive focused on clothing items that will help keep homeless citizens warm. Hundreds of items, including 200 jackets, scarves, hats, and shoes were collected. While these donations represent only a small step in combating homelessness, I am proud that state employees helped Rhode Islanders who lack shelter, the most fundamental necessity during winter.”