News

MIT report says subsidizing the T would benefit low-income people

A study by MIT transportation and urban planning professors suggests that low-income folk would benefit from a reduced costs associated with riding the MBTA. Preliminary findings from the report “How Low-income Transit Riders in Boston Respond to Discounted Fares” found that reducing the cost of riding the MBTA would increase ridership for those who are

Boston’s Homeless Women Struggle to Navigate Healthcare System

Last year, the City of Boston said the homeless population had gone down three percent. Despite the decline, homelessness in the city remains at just over six thousand—and most of them eventually will need medical care. Women on the street need specialized medical care. Boston provides an array of medical assistance to help them. Samantha

Emerson photo exhibit showcases stories of recovery

David DeCourcey is a 37-year-old Boston local who currently works at the Devine Recovery Center as a peer to peer specialist. His experience with recovery allows him to connect deeper with those who come to Devine. He has two sons, Joseph, 14, and David Jr.,15, who help drive his recovery process. photo by Jakob Menendez

‘It changed my life’: Ordinary people power Game of Thrones

‘THEY KNOW ME AS THE ANIMAL MAN OF NORTHERN IRELAND’ Kenny Gracey – medieval livestock owner It’s not just on-screen talent that has felt the Game of Thrones effect – its success has pumped millions into Northern Ireland’s economy. Besides tourists flocking to see the iconic locations, the show had more than 6,000 employees, putting local talent

Education a Hot Topic in Mass. Senate Budget Debate

Education funding was at the heart of Senate budget talks on Tuesday in the Massachusetts State House. The Senate Ways and Means Committee is recommending a close to 43-billion-dollar fiscal 2020 budget that would boost spending by about three percent. Part of this proposed budget is a suggested 268-million-dollar increase in funds to K-12 public

Boston to make case for new Long Island bridge to Quincy

The City of Boston is hoping to convey that rebuilding a bridge to Long Island is the best option for accessing and reopening a recovery campus for addicts during a meeting on Tuesday, May 7,  in Quincy. The public meeting, being held at the Kennedy Center facility for the Quincy Council on Aging at 7

Massachusetts District Attorneys Sue ICE Over Court Interferences

Marian Ryan and Rachael Rollins — the district attorneys of Middlesex and Suffolk counties, respectively — filed a lawsuit against ICE on Monday, April 29, hoping to put an end to the agency’s tactic of arresting individuals in the vicinity of Massachusetts courthouses. The lawsuit is the first of its kind in the country, setting

Horace Seldon: Fighting Injustice, Celebrating Civil Disobedience

Horace Seldon was happily lying on his back, waving his hands and feet in the air the first time Shay Stewart-Bouley saw him. Shay was just starting out as Executive Director of Community Change, Inc., the anti-racism non-profit Horace founded in 1968, and she was at the organization’s forty-fifth anniversary party. It also happened to

Arts & Culture

Book Review: ‘Prey For Us’

I was introduced to Geoffrey Neil’s wonderful writing because his first book, Dire Means, was about homelessness in Santa Monica, California where some extremely devious people tried to end homelessness through evil means. In that book, I met a woman named Morana Mahker, who was very skilled at both eliminating people and tracking their movements

Book Review: ‘Prey For Us’

I was introduced to Geoffrey Neil’s wonderful writing because his first book, Dire Means, was about homelessness in Santa Monica, California where some extremely devious people tried to end homelessness through evil means. In that book, I met a woman named Morana Mahker, who was very skilled at both eliminating people and tracking their movements

Champion of the Underdog: An Interview With Dolly Parton

“As a writer, I have to leave my heart open,” Dolly Parton begins. “That’s why I have always said I never could harden my heart, even against hurt or anything. Because as a writer, if you harden your heart, you’re not going to feel all that emotion you need to feel, and you won’t be

‘Friends’ Star Inspired to Action by Friend’s Homelessness

David Schwimmer, former star of “Friends,” turned his artistic talent to telling stories that highlight the struggle of homeless people after discovering that his friend had been living on Skid Row, hiding his homelessness even from those who knew him best. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons “I had a friend who was homeless for two

‘It changed my life’: Ordinary people power Game of Thrones

‘THEY KNOW ME AS THE ANIMAL MAN OF NORTHERN IRELAND’ Kenny Gracey – medieval livestock owner It’s not just on-screen talent that has felt the Game of Thrones effect – its success has pumped millions into Northern Ireland’s economy. Besides tourists flocking to see the iconic locations, the show had more than 6,000 employees, putting local talent

Columns

Help Spare Change News Help Others!

Happy Spring! Spring is a season of new beginnings and change. We want to start off by thanking you all for your gracious and generous donations from our past fall appeal. We sincerely appreciate your help and support. It is because of you that we are still alive after 27 years and still able to

Bizarre Boston: Raising Hell at Harvard

When I think about college students raising hell, I picture kegs of beer, red plastic Solo cups and loud music. Oh, and maybe a beer funnel or two. In my mind, the phrase “raising hell” is just a metaphor for having a wild time. However, maybe it’s not always just a metaphor. For some Harvard

Letter From Utuado, Puerto Rico

You once said “My reward for this life will be a thousand pounds of dirt shoveled in my face.” You were wrong.   You are seven pounds of ashes in a box; a Puerto Rican flag wrapped around you next to a red brick from the house in Utuado where you were born, all crammed

LAST WORD: Christina Sukghian Houle

About a month ago, an artist called Christina Sukhgian Houle dropped into the Spare Change News’ headquarters to meet with some of the vendors. Christina has joined forces with the newspaper’s co-founder, James Shearer, with the goal of making a documentary on homelessness in the Boston area. Christina is a relatively recent transplant to Greater

IDs For the Homeless are Common Sense

“Having an ID card is instrumental to giving folks pathways out of poverty,” says Molly Schulman, Community Organizer and Legislative Advocate with the Massachusetts Coalition For the Homeless. She, along with Associate Director Kelly Turley, are at the Massachusetts State House every day advocating on behalf of the homeless on everything from increasing funding for

‘I Always Came Back’: A Story of Survival

“Hey, baby!” Linda Burston, with an illuminating smile and wide eyes, greets every woman who comes through the doors of Women’s Lunch Place. They always know when Linda is in the room; even among the clink clank of dishes being piled high, the scraping of metal fork against ceramic plate, the hum of conversation among dozens of

The Avoidable Crisis

Stanley Forman: 40 Years After the Soiling of Old Glory

The photo was chilling. Before a crowd of onlookers, a white man appears to be attempting to stab a black man with the tip of a flagpole. “It really showed racism,” said photographer Stanley Forman 40 years after he took the Pulitzer Prize-winning snapshot of an anti-busing protest that had turned violent. “It was whites

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