Providence City Council forms committee to study homelessness

Providence City Council chambers. (Photo by Dan McGowan/WPRI 12)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Councilwoman Mary Kay Harris will serve as chairperson of a new committee that will study homelessness in Providence, the council announced Thursday.

Harris, who represents Ward 11, will be joined on the special committee fellow Democratic Councilors Sam Zurier (Ward 2), Nirva LaFortune (Ward 3), Nick Narducci (Ward 4) and Carmen Castillo (Ward 9). Narducci will serve as vice chair.

“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,” Harris said in a prepared statement. “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 committee will issue a report on the city’s homelessness challenges by November, according to resolution approved by the council Thursday evening.

Council President David Salvatore said city leaders have a “moral obligation” to help the homeless.

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Dan McGowan (dmcgowan@wpri.com) covers politics, education and the city of Providence for WPRI.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @danmcgowan