Our Programs

Nighttime Outreach

Nighttime Outreach is a program of the Rhode Island Homeless Advocacy Project. We walk in teams around the city to provide homeless people with shelter, medical attention and social services. Our volunteers are trained to assist some of the most vulnerable members of the community. This is one of our most popular activities. It allows students to engage with members of the homeless community on a personal level.

Note: Volunteers for Nighttime Outreach must undergo training approved by the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless and the HOPE Outreach Coordinator. Trainings are offered at the beginning of each semester and last approximately 3 hours. Students who commit to the program must sign a contract and agree to a weekly shift for the semester.

Contact Kayla Fisher ’17 for more information.

City Meal Site

A group of volunteers works every Tuesday at the City Meal Site at All Saints Memorial Church. We serve hot meals to the community, set up and clean the space. Volunteering at the meal site is a great way to meet and engage with members of the community.

Contact Kayla Fisher ’17 for more information.

Advocacy

Advocacy work is critical to HOPE’s mission. HOPE supports campaigns for affordable housing, rent control and tenants’ rights. We also endorse campaigns that seek to end discrimination against the homeless. Our campaigns change every semester, so please contact the advocacy chair to get involved in current projects.

HOPE has recently supported organizations such as Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE), the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless (RICH), House of Hope CDC, and the Rhode Island Homeless Advocacy Project.

In Spring 2013, we canvassed the area around Harrington Hall, Rhode Island’s largest congregate men’s shelter, to assist House of Hope CDC with their petition to move the shelter to a safer and more adequate facility. We collected signatures from over 100 households, which were delivered to Governor Lincoln Chafee.

In Spring 2014, we canvassed the districts of Speaker Gordon Fox in Providence and Speaker Nicholas Mattiello in Cranston to help DARE pass the Just Cause Bill. The bill safeguards good tenants against unfair evictions from foreclosed properties. It passed after a 6-year campaign in June 2014.

Students from HOPE have also gone to the Rhode Island State House to lobby politicians to support the Shelter Standards Bill (to create a regulation system for shelters) and to guarantee a permanent, dedicated affordable housing funding stream in the budget.

In addition to our campaign work, we attend the Rhode Island Homeless Advocacy Project meetings every Friday at 12:30 at Mathewson Street Church. We update the group and collect news from the wider advocacy and outreach community.

Contact Jana Foxe ’16 for more information.

SOAR

SOAR is an Access Rhode Island program that helps elderly or disabled homeless people apply for a monthly Supplemental Security Income welfare payment (SSI or SSDI). These funds help them afford rent, food and other necessities. HOPE student volunteers are trained by members of Access RI and work in pairs. SOAR allows students to bring their clients closer to affording their own homes.

Contact Lydia Vieraitis ’16 for more information.

Street Sights

Street Sights is a monthly newspaper run by and for members of the homeless community. It provides updates on relevant news, events, and legislative campaigns. There is also information on resources such as meal sites and legal clinics, as well as essays, poetry and opinion pieces by members of the community. HOPE students write articles and sit on the editorial board.

Contact Haley de la Rosa ‘17 for more information.