by Mark Curtis, ABC6 Chief Political Reporter
They were marching in bone chilling weather to make a point.
Dozens joining the Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition on its annual trek to the Statehouse, hoping for more funding to help those living in poverty, and homelessness.
Reverend Donald Boucher, a minister from Newport said, "To remember those who are suffering. It's very cold outside. Every year we have people die outside, and we want to make sure people are cared for. Nothing more, nothing less than that."
During a statewide count three weeks ago, nearly one thousand people were found to be homeless in Rhode Island.
ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "Concern for the homeless is likely to grow over the next couple of days. That's because overnight temperatures are forecast to drop into the low teens."
There are other concerns, too. One–in–five children in Rhode Island now live in poverty.
Unemployment here remains the second highest in the nation.
Albert Cherette was out of work and homeless for eight months. He came to the Statehouse to tell his story.
Cherette said, "You're freezing. You're bitter. You want a job. No one will give you a job. And you keep saying to everybody, 'Hey listen, the homeless need a job, too. I'm a homeless person, give me a job.' They won't give you one."
State officials said they would try to do more, to help. Governor Lincoln Chafee (I-RI) said, "I can pledge in the legislative session, we'll be listening to your proposals and growing our economy, that's what we need to do."
For now much of the help for those in poverty comes from religious and private charitable organizations.