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Providence city councilor's posts about 'cleanup' of homeless camp draw criticism

Providence Journal logo Providence Journal 9/15/2021 Jack Perry, The Providence Journal
a man smiling for the camera: Providence City Councilman Nicholas J. Narducci Jr. © Providence City Council Providence City Councilman Nicholas J. Narducci Jr.

A Providence city councilman's social media posts Tuesday about the "cleanup" of an area used by homeless people drew criticism and prompted him to issue a later statement through the City Council.

Providence City Councilman Nicholas J. Narducci Jr. posted photographs and a statement on social media Tuesday "in appreciation" for the Providence Police Department and the Department of Public Works "their work cleaning up a homeless encampment on Route 146 this morning. Councilman Narducci remains committed to working towards solutions to the homelessness crisis in our city."

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The posts on Twitter and Facebook were met with heavy criticism by social media users, some of whom described the Facebook post as "disgusting" and accused the city of "terrorizing" homeless people. 

In response to Narducci's Facebook post, the House of Hope Community Development Corp. of Warwick wrote, "People set up encampments in areas that feel safe to them because no other safe option is available. These 'cleanups' achieve a short term goal - but fails to see the needs of humans, as folks disappear and our efforts to work together with individuals grinds to a halt. The solution to homelessness is not homelessness."

Narducci later issued the following statement through the City Council:

“Earlier today I participated in the cleanup of an area under and around the Route 146 overpass on Branch Avenue. The area was cleaned up in coordination with the Department of Public Works after many complaints from neighbors about trash and litter. Police were there for traffic safety and did not approach anyone. I also want to make very clear that no homeless who use this space for shelter were displaced and that I am continuing to work to ensure that these individuals have access to social support services.”

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On Twitter: @jgregoryperry

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Providence city councilor's posts about 'cleanup' of homeless camp draw criticism


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