I am trying to raise awareness about homelessness and hunger in Rhode Island. I am fortunate to have met and photographed many inspirational people who are helping in their own way.
Pastor Jack Jones and Scott Budnick had an idea and a desire to help the homeless. The created the Sunday Friendship Breakfast 3 years ago. Now, among other services they provide, they serve 1100-1200 meals every month at the Mathewson Street United Methodist Church in Providence.
Cindy Elder, formerly at the RI Food Bank, and Steve Maciel at End Hunger are helping to feed the hungry.
Jenny D’Tomasso, of Street Sites, is a little lady with a huge heart. She reaches out and listens to individuals and families in need.
Jim Ryczek and Karen Jeffreys at Rhode Island Coalition For The Homeless are advocates working hard to find solutions.
Susan Gustaitis and an amazing group at Jonnycake Center provide food and help to many people in Peace Dale.
Andrea Smith, Barbara O'Connor Smith and Coreen St Jean of Team ABC are three incredible ladies who started Help The Homeless when they saw the need.
Mary Hanson and members The Good Shepard Lutheran Church peel potatoes on Saturday afternoons. These spuds end up on Breakfast plates the following morning.
Lynn Loveday and Michael Downey at AFSCME gathered donations of clothing and dollars from their union membership. It all went to help provide food and shelter for the homeless.
I've found there are many concerned Rhode Islanders who take it upon themselves to just do something to help. Nicole Page and daughters Addi and Keegan are good examples. They gathered mountains of clothing last Sunday, they just did it. Hannah Malefant , when she was sixteen years decided to Christmas carol her neighborhood, collecting money and gifts for the kids who might not get any. She raised over $16,000 over the years. Amazing.
Brook and Noah are typical of those who cook, serve and clean up the Sunday Friendship Breakfast. So are Sarah and son Dylan. Then there are Tony, with his son, Tony, Jr. They also help out at the breakfast, father pour coffee, and son serving lemonade. Carol Calhoun dishes out porridge and smiles on a regular basis. 90 year old John Henneberry delivers Meals On Wheels to shut ins. He has been doing this almost twenty years.
Luckily, there are many people around our state helping the needy in their own way. These are just a few examples I know about. These are people who are making a difference. Click to enlarge photos.