Rhode Island’s (Excessive?) Generosity: First Hand Testimony

One of the things I admire about Michael Morse over at Rescuing Providence is that he calls them as he sees them.
From one of his reports posts of a couple of weeks ago.

She’s twenty-four and homeless, and has been for four years. She has kids back in Ohio, had to leave them there when it was time to find a better life for herself. She found Rhode Island. At nine o’clock at night she wandered into Kennedy Plaza, the main bus station in Providence and slumped against a wall. A police officer told her to move on, she said she couldn’t. The police called us.

“What’s the matter?”
“I can’t move.”
“You can’t move.”
“I’ve been walking all day and can’t walk anymore.”
“Get in the truck.”

I’ve given up. I used to fight to maintain some resemblance of dignity concerning EMS and the 911 system, now I operate as if I’m part social services agency, part homeless advocate, rolling medicine cabinet, part taxi and occasional emergency medical technician.
She managed to move, this time ambling into the rescue. She slowly stepped in and sat on the bench seat. I sat across from her, Adam drove toward Rhode Island Hospital where the cure for “inability to move” waited.

“Why have you been walking all day?”
“I have nowhere to go. I’m homeless.”
“Where are you from?”
“Akron, Ohio.”
“Why don’t you go back?”
“They only have one homeless shelter in the state! They don’t have no food kitchens, nothin! I can’t even get a coffee!”
“Why did you come here?”
“Three hots and a cot. Everybody knows this is a good place. Every day of the week somebody’s got somethin. Sundays at the Amos House, every day at the McCauley House, soup kitchens, shelters, people give you money just for holding up a sign.”

* * *
A young girl from Ohio living on the streets of Providence, getting by mainly from the generosity of others. Our generosity is harming her more than helping her. She would be better off in Akron, learning how to be responsible and taking care of her children.

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12 years ago

This girl should claim to be an illegal and she’ll be fattened up in no time.
Children? No problem, especially if they’re illegals. Give ’em a call. We’ll pay the tow…and pay and pay and pay.
How does a woman from Akron know to come here in RI?
The same way an illegal from the Dominican knows.
I have no pity for a woman who abandons her children.

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