Jean was born on July 1st, 1939 in Anderson, South Carolina and was educated in the New York City Public School System. From 1979 through 1981 Jean attended Norwalk Community College in Norwalk Connecticut. Where he studied Criminal Justice administration earning a place on the Deans List. While attending Norwalk Community College he was president of the Black Student Union and also served as the community liaison for then Deputy Mayor Otha Brown, Jr. Jean is homeless and has been homeless for the past 8 years. He supplements his income by picking up cans for recycling. Jean is also an avid reader and student of history. Jean serves as the Secretary of the Board of Directors of Picture the Homeless, and is an active member of the Steering Committee and the Civil Rights Committee.
For more info about Jean, check out this article from the New York Daily News:
These days, the 74-year-old sleeps in his own bed at night — and will soon have a library of his own…
The formerly homeless Rice has been a board member with Picture the Homeless for 12 years. Much of the group’s work focuses on empowering the homeless through classes and lectures, which Rice believes will be bolstered by the new library.
“We believe in giving people the tools that they need,” said Rice, who works with other poverty-stricken members of the group to educate people about homelessness and social justice.
Other formerly homeless members of the group said naming the library after Rice was a no-brainer.
“Jean is like a walking dictionary,” said advocate Marcus Moore. “It’s important having a library in a homeless organization and it’s a great thing to have it named after someone who does so much for us.”