The Woman Who Walked From Starbucks to The House Of Yes

As Overdoses Soar, Rhode Island Embraces Drug Consumption Sites

On a Monday morning in March, a woman walks into a Starbucks in downtown Providence. She orders cappuccino and a chocolate croissant and sits down at a table. For most people, this would be the start of an average day, but this morning, she is here because she has something to tell the world about drug consumption sites.

She calls it a day early, leaving early enough to catch the first of the first airplanes that will take people from the island of Providence to the big island of New York to attend the 2014 Drug War Moratorium at Columbia University, where the Rev. Timothy Brogan will lead a special ceremony and a panel discussion, all of which will be in a cavernous auditorium with a large stage and a great view of the Manhattan skyline.

“I just want to talk to her,” says one of the few members of the group who came with the woman from the coffee shop.

The woman, who prefers to remain anonymous, was one of about 10 people who had showed up that morning, early, at the Starbucks, all of them planning to meet up later that night at New York City-based The Drug War Project. She and about 100 other people, from the surrounding streets, knew each would get a 15-minute interview, followed by a 45-minute discussion with Brogan and a panel of other activists.

After sitting in the Starbucks for an hour, the woman realized she had to go home to get ready for her 1 p.m. interview. She looked through her phone at the time and realized she had made the same 10 minute walk from the coffee shop to Starbucks twice. She was about to head home, to make a stop at a coffee shop and a drug consumption site called “The House Of Yes, an online magazine of articles and videos that has become a key vehicle for drug education and information. The House Of Yes has become known in the community for its work with the Rhode Island State Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and its educational and awareness efforts with other drug abuse groups. It was part of her plan for the day, and she went home and did

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