PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island religious leaders are pressing state lawmakers to remember homeless and poor residents when they begin their work for the year.
The Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition organized a "vigil to fight poverty with faith" at the Statehouse. The General Assembly kicked off its 2012 legislative session on Tuesday.
Leaders of the coalition say they'll ask lawmakers to "govern with wisdom and compassion" during what they say is a "very trying time in our state."
The state's unemployment rate is among the highest in the nation, at 10.5 percent.
Federal census figures show some 12 percent of Rhode Island residents live in poverty. A federal report issued last year also estimated that as many as 1,070 state residents were homeless on a single night in January.