In the spring of 2012, the state of Rhode Island endorsed Opening Doors RI, the state's Plan to End Homelessness. The Plan's initial step calls for the state to pay for rental vouchers to move people into housing and out of shelter; saving both lives and money.
Despite the Plan having been endorsed by Governor Lincoln Chafee's own Interagency Council on Homelessness and the Housing Resources Commission, the Governor failed to fund the Plan in his budget. As his Director of Administration described the decision before a House committee, "it's a matter of priorities."
We believe that ending homelessness is a priority that should be funded. Join us in calling on House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President M. Teresa Paiva-Weed to fund the Plan to End Homelessness in their budgets and have Rhode Island begin the work of ending homelessness.
I believe that Rhode Island should not be a state which allows its most vulnerable citizens to suffer. I believe that Rhode Island should not allow families to be torn apart because they fall into homelessness. I want Rhode Island to be first in the nation to abolish chronic homelessness. I know that it can be done. And then Rhode Islanders can hold their heads up high, knowing that ours is a state that helps people rather than turns them away.
You have the ability to correct the grievous mistake the Governor made in his budget. You can start the Plan to End Homelessness. And then, years from now, when people number your accomplishments, this will be among them: "ended homelessness in the state of Rhode Island." I know we can all be proud of that. I need you to ensure that that day comes.