Providence, RI – Council President David A. Salvatore and Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris introduced a resolution to establish the Special Committee to Study Homelessness in Providence at tonight’s City Council meeting.

«As elected representatives of the people of Providence, as well as members of this community, we have a moral obligation to help the homeless,» stated City Council President David A. Salvatore. «In order for Providence to be a truly strong city, we must ensure the protections of all people. We must enact policies that will reduce the level of homelessness in our capital City, and I am confident that this committee will work to find solutions that will end homelessness in Providence one day

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR), 39% of people experiencing homelessness nationwide are female, 21% are children, and another 10% are between the ages of 18 and 24. While African-Americans are just 13% of the U.S. population, more than 40% of homeless people in the U.S. are African-American. In 2017 the number of unsheltered homeless in America increased 9.4% from 2016 to 2017.

«As an African American woman it is not lost on me that people of color and women experience homelessness at far greater levels than others in our society,» stated Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris, Ward 11. «I’ve worked my whole career helping people rise out of homelessness, and this opportunity to lead a committee to study and to enact change makes me very proud.»

The Special Committee to Study Homelessness will be composed of:

* Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris, Chair
* Councilman Nicholas Narducci Jr., Vice-Chair
* Councilwoman Carmen Castillo
* Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune
* Councilman Samuel Zurier

The Special Committee will issue a report with findings and recommendations to the full City Council by November 1, 2018.