Donation of RIPTA passes helping needy reach food, shelter


To the Editor:

On behalf of Good Neighbors Meal Kitchen and Day Shelter located at St. Brendan’s Church in East Providence, I would like to publicly thank Bishop Thomas J. Tobin and John Barry, from the Office of Social Ministry for the Diocese of Providence, for their donation of RIPTA bus passes. The past month has been a difficult one for our clients. Good Neighbors has seen the number of meals served decrease by 1,100 over the past 30 days. Unfortunately, that decrease is not due to a decreased need, but rather to the inability of our clients, the homeless, disadvantaged, elderly and physically challenged, to reach us. The new RIPTA policy, which forces our clients to pay to ride, has forced them to go without the help they need to secure food and other assistance. Good Neighbors is the only day shelter in the state of R.I. It is a place for the homeless, sleeping in shelters or on the streets, to get off the street each day. It is a safe, friendly environment where our clients, homeless or otherwise, can spend the day socializing, reading, watching TV, playing pool, or just staying warm and dry. They are served two meals a days and have access to clothing, hygiene products and laundry facilities.

Without the generous support of agencies and individuals as Bishop Tobin and the Diocese of Providence Office of Social Ministries, many of the most vulnerable and forgotten of our state, unable to afford the bus fares, would simply go without the food and services they need to survive.

Thank you again, Bishop Tobin and the Diocese of Providence for this gift to our clients.

Mary Ann Higgins, President, Good Neighbors Board of Directors, East Providence