By Sean Cononie
Artie was a man who did not judge anyone, and he gave people many chances to get it right. He loved working with those who had drug addictions — giving them chance after chance.
It is not every day a person can be addicted to drugs like Artie was, and then regain their body and spirit and remain drug free. Then to come from the bushes on the street to running an agency is something to be said. This was a great man who did so much for so many people. When homeless families came in, the world stopped, and Artie would change every bed in the shelter if he had to in order to get them space.
The COSAC Foundation is proud to announce that we will be starting a Rip Current Education Agency — all about education on what to do if caught in a rip current. We are starting this initiative because of the death of our beloved Arthur Goncalves, who died in July 2021 in a rip current.
Artie was one person who believed that we all should know what to do in an emergency to save lives. He responded to so many code calls at the shelter, but this time there was no one to help him. He suffered a heart attack trying to fight the rip current.
The program will be paid for by the homeless who sell the Homeless Voice newspaper, as the entire project will be funded by some of the profits.
In 1999, Arthur Goncalves came to one of our shelters and sold the Homeless Voice. He worked his way up from running the newspaper, to finally running our Veterans Inn shelter. Artie was a small guy, but we called him “Big Guy” because of his title at the shelters.
Artie retired, but came back as a volunteer to help the director, myself, when I was not able to run the shelter because of an injury to my head. Artie then was in charge of keeping those in our shelter free from COVID-19 — where we’d had zero cases. Artie was a true hero. Knowing him, he would want people to learn all about rip currents.
Artie I will miss the early video calls with you. So many times we would talk business, then have our coffee together. I enjoyed those times even over video.
You saved so many homeless people, thousands over the years. Now Artie, you will be saving more lives by educating people about rip currents. A job well done.
I love you, Artie.
Arthur Goncalves’ “Preventing Death from Rip Currents Agency” will be known as the “Don’t Fight A Rip Current” program.