Remembering Fearless Advocate John Joyce

If homelessness is a national problem with local solutions, then John Joyce was Rhode Island’s answer to the question “Who will fight the good fight against homelessness in our community?”

This past week, the city of Providence, the state of Rhode Island and the nation lost an advocate’s advocate when John Joyce lost his battle with cancer at the age of 50. The National Coalition for the Homelessness and its membership, both housed and un-housed, wish to express a profound sadness for a friend lost too early and thanks for a life that was truly special by any measure.

John Joyce

John Joyce

Many years went into the making of this courageous homeless advocate. Like many before him, John’s path through homelessness made him a genuine soldier for the war on poverty. His testimonials were spoken from the heart and rendered clearly in first person experiences. John led Rhode Island through an important process that resulted in the enactment of the nation’s first “Homeless Bill of Rights”, a state legislative success that has been emulated nationwide.

We will miss John for his courage and his commitment. But perhaps most of all, we will miss him as a true sign of hope that one day we will live in a fully housed nation.

Please read more about John’s life and death at http://news.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/2013/02/homeless-advocate-joyce-dies-after-cancer-battleready.html

-Neil Donovan, Executive Director, National Coalition for the Homeless

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One Response to Remembering Fearless Advocate John Joyce

  1. JJC says:

    A `Homeless Bill of Rights’ in any jurisdiction or setting can be important in expanding decent treatment of homeless persons. However, advocates would want to exercise extreme caution when asked to compromise the included provisions – or even in getting legislation considered when there is a high likelihood of significant changes being made during the legislative process. There is a danger of virtually permanent establishment of the maximum, limited degree of protection to be granted. It might be better to wait until there will be widespread support for more just policy.

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