There will be a memorial for John Joyce on Thursday, February 21 “with a memorial with visitation beginning at 9 am at Beneficent Congregational Church, 300 Weybosset Street, Providence, RI. The memorial service will be at 11 am, in the church, with a reception and luncheon to follow,” according to the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless put out this statement today on his passing.
It is with great sadness that the Coalition for the Homeless and our constituents say goodbye to a dear friend and an incomparable advocate, John Joyce. John was the co-founder of the Rhode Island Homeless Advocacy Project (RIHAP), a grassroots organization that works to engage homeless and formerly homeless individuals in outreach and advocacy efforts to end homelessness.
John was the author of the Rhode Island Homeless Bill of Rights, a landmark law that ensures no Rhode Islander without a home will be discriminated against based on his or her housing status. Prior to this legislative victory, John collaborated with RIHAP to introduce and pass the Homeless Hate Crime bill. In addition to his advocacy work, John served as an outreach worker for the Home Base program at the Providence Center, assisting countless constituents.
John helped to organize the first tent city in Providence in January 2009 in response to a lack of shelter beds for homeless constituents. John continued to fight to ensure there is adequate space in the emergency shelter system but wholeheartedly believed in affordable housing as the solution to homelessness. As someone who had experienced homelessness himself, John was not afraid to speak truth to power and recognized that homelessness in Rhode Island will only end if those who are homeless have a voice in the process.
We will join the community in celebrating John’s life on Thursday, February 21, with a memorial with visitation beginning at 9 am at Beneficent Congregational Church, 300 Weybosset Street, Providence, RI. The memorial service will be at 11 am, in the church, with a reception and luncheon to follow. All are welcome.