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Advocacy group elects Board; shelter sought

November 29, 2012

With people living on the bike path and various other areas in the Pawtuxet Valley, residents have formed a group in hopes of constructing an emergency shelter. Jessica Boisclair. Kent County Daily Times.

WEST WARWICK — As temperatures continue to drop and winter approaches, scores of advocates throughout the community have banded together to assist the growing number of homeless people in the Pawtuxet Valley.

After members of the Arctic Village Association brought up the issue of homelessness last month, valley residents created a group to show their support and help reduce the amount of people living on the streets.

Newly elected Executive Director of the Pawtuxet Valley Homeless Advocacy (PVHA) Edward Congdon explained that the first meeting held by the organization was well received and generated interest.

During Tuesday night’s meeting the next step was taken and eight members were elected to the board.

Each member is involved with other groups in town, which will bring different ideas to the table.

The new board members include Chairman Charlie Nault, Executive Director of Artic Mission; Vice Chairman Andy Beaulieu, manager of Rogers Paint and volunteer at Helping Hands; Treasurer Edward Laurenzo, certified tax consultant; Secretary Milagros Colon, Family Resource Program at Thundermist; board member Brother Jeff, board member Jeff Lessard from the homeless community, board member Barbara Tabak, coordinator of the Arctic Village Association; and Pastoral Council Pastor Luciano-Cozzi from Grace Family Church.

Congdon explained that three sub-committees were formed to help spearhead the work.

He said the organization established a planning committee, fundraising committee and outreach committee.

The group will be focusing on the homeless issues in West Warwick, Coventry, Hope, East Greenwich and the bordering areas of Warwick.

“Our immediate goal is to get an emergency shelter open, either a temporary location or a permanent one,” Congdon said. “We are currently looking at properties.”

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