Candlelight vigil for homeless men killed

By Dana Griffin

dgriffin@abc6.com

@DanaRgriffin

PROVIDENCE, RI- At Cathedral Square in Providence, a remembrance ceremony was held for two men beaten so badly, they later died.

Luis Belmont was beaten in March and died two weeks later.

Milton Lyles, beaten in May, died a month later.

“It’s unfortunate that we’ve had to come out four times this year to do this for folks who’ve died on the street but we’re committed to helping the community understand that this is unacceptable,” said Jim Ryzeck

Jim Ryzeck, with the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless says providing affordable housing is one way they want the state to help protect the hundreds still living on the streets.

Ryzeck adds, “We won’t stop people from beating them perhaps. But, if people aren’t on the streets they’re not vulnerable, they’re not subject to people thinking of them as less than human.”

According to a national survey of hate crime and violence committed against the homeless in 2013, 18–percent of reported attacks resulted in death.

Many of the people in attendance did not know the victims, but want to send a message that hate and violence are not welcomed here.

“There cannot be some people that are worth less than the rest of us. We are all worth the same,” said Teny Gross.

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