News

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Shadow Fund Organization Helps Low Income Pet Owners Pay for Medical Procedures

In 2007, Diane Sullivan was flipping through the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune when she came across a story about Robert Burke, an ex-marine who was having trouble paying for his dog Shadow’s $3,800 leg surgery. Shadow was in pain and could barely walk after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his left leg. Sullivan wanted to help,

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National Suicide Awareness Week: How to Save a Life

National Suicide Awareness week took place between Sept. 5 and 11. We saw yellow ribbons tied around trees in memory of people lost to suicide, candle light vigils, community rides, walks and runs. The Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention, a group of suicide prevention agencies across the state, offered information on local events and resources

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Voices of Youth Count Strives to Represent and Account for the Young and Homeless

Throughout the course of this past summer, Chapin Hall and the University of Chicago have led an initiative to better understand homelessness in youth populations across the United States. The project, called Voices of Youth Count, utilizes 22 teams strategically based around the nation whose job is to observe hot spots of youth homelessness, analyzing

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Justice Department Orders Phasing Out of Private Prisons

In late August, the Justice Department issued a directive to phase out the use of private companies to operate federal prisons. As each private prison contract comes up for renewal, the Bureau of Prisons “should either decline to renew that contract or substantially reduce its scope in a manner consistent with law and the overall

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Shadow Fund Organization Helps Low Income Pet Owners Pay for Medical Procedures

In 2007, Diane Sullivan was flipping through the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune when she came across a story about Robert Burke, an ex-marine who was having trouble paying for his dog Shadow’s $3,800 leg surgery. Shadow was in pain and could barely walk after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in his left leg. Sullivan wanted to help,

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National Suicide Awareness Week: How to Save a Life

National Suicide Awareness week took place between Sept. 5 and 11. We saw yellow ribbons tied around trees in memory of people lost to suicide, candle light vigils, community rides, walks and runs. The Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention, a group of suicide prevention agencies across the state, offered information on local events and resources

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Long Road to Recovery

Drug addiction destroys the “American dream” for many people. According to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014 approximately 25,000 men and women lost their lives due to prescription drug addiction. My mother, Betsy Cartagena, from Roxbury, Massachusetts, lost her chance at the dream when she

Arts & Culture

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Garret’s Movie Palace: Pete’s Dragon (2016)

After an exhausting summer buffet of set pieces, superheroes and whatever s-word you might use for “Suicide Squad,” the gentle “Pete’s Dragon” is a welcome palate cleanser. Where other summer movies are chest-thumping, it’s quiet; where others are brashly cynical, it’s sweetly sincere; where others are lacking in giant cuddly dragons, “Pete’s Dragon” has one.

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“Underground Airlines” by Ben H. Winters: A Book Review

Mulholland Books/Little Brown & Company, Hachette Book Group; Goldsboro Books, UK Ltd. Edition S & N. Imagine if President Lincoln was shot before the Civil War took place and then, because of that and the greed of humankind, the Civil War never happened. If you were black and born into a slave state, there would

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The Power of Partying, Brought To You by Andrew W.K.

For Andrew W.K., life is a party. Not in the sense of partying to ditch responsibility or wreck your parent’s living room. No—partying, for the Ann Arbor, Michigan, native, is a lifestyle. “It’s sort of a crucial understanding that our survival depends on an essential appreciation and gratitude toward existence,” said W.K. “It’s pretty hard

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Garret’s Movie Palace: Pete’s Dragon (2016)

After an exhausting summer buffet of set pieces, superheroes and whatever s-word you might use for “Suicide Squad,” the gentle “Pete’s Dragon” is a welcome palate cleanser. Where other summer movies are chest-thumping, it’s quiet; where others are brashly cynical, it’s sweetly sincere; where others are lacking in giant cuddly dragons, “Pete’s Dragon” has one.

Columns

James Shearer

Change is Good

Every once in a while, things have got to change in order for things to get better. If you become stuck in the same old rut, things won’t get better. Trust me. That being said, next month SCN will be increasing its price to $2 for the public. Vendors will pay 50 cents, but will

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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

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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

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Readers Respond

As the executive director of the Homeless Empowerment Project, which publishes Spare Change News, I had the privilege of getting to see all of the responses to Robert Sondak’s survey that ran last month. It was moving to see how many of you took the time to fill out the survey, which included 10 questions

James Shearer

Change is Good

Every once in a while, things have got to change in order for things to get better. If you become stuck in the same old rut, things won’t get better. Trust me. That being said, next month SCN will be increasing its price to $2 for the public. Vendors will pay 50 cents, but will

The Avoidable Crisis

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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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