News

‘Clean sweep’ becomes policy

The Walsh administration has announced an initiative aimed at clearing homeless people from the Melnea Cass/Massachusetts Avenue neighborhood, in a follow up to last summer’s action against Boston’s homeless, known as “Operation Clean Sweep,” with its Melnea Cass/Mass Ave. 2.0 plan.  “While no neighborhood or group of people has escaped this crisis, the areas of

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

Rapid rehousing: The problems with this solution

Several families who have received rapid rehousing subsidies marched with advocates on May 9, 2019 to voice their concerns about the program. Meeting at the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center on Rhode Island Ave., they marched nearly two miles in the heat to the headquarters of the Washington D.C. Department of Human Services (DHS), where

How climate change is driving emigration from Central America

Clouds of dust rose behind the wheels of the pickup truck as we hurtled over the back road in Palo Verde, El Salvador. When we got to the stone-paved part of the road, the driver slowed as the truck heaved up and down with the uneven terrain. Riding in the back bed of the truck,

‘Clean sweep’ becomes policy

The Walsh administration has announced an initiative aimed at clearing homeless people from the Melnea Cass/Massachusetts Avenue neighborhood, in a follow up to last summer’s action against Boston’s homeless, known as “Operation Clean Sweep,” with its Melnea Cass/Mass Ave. 2.0 plan.  “While no neighborhood or group of people has escaped this crisis, the areas of

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

Hounded: Demonstrators decry Greyhound’s cooperation with ICE

Demonstrators have rallied to deliver a letter to Greyhound Lines, Inc., at its new loading zone in Portland’s Old Town neighbourhood, demanding the bus company stop allowing federal immigration enforcement agents to board its vehicles in order to check passengers’ immigration statuses. But whether Greyhound has any choice in the matter is unclear, with Greyhound

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

Running on Empty Part 2: Doctor Shopping and Crowbar Dodging

The pharmacist had grey hair and his glasses rested down on a bump in the middle of his nose.  The woman working the counter came over and I handed her the scripts. She asked me for my address and wrote it on the scripts.  I hated when they did that if they didn’t cash them

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

And then they came for…

Last week Donald Trump’s Council on Economic Affairs released a report on homelessness that, like brings to mind his and his administration’s mindless rants about immigrants before last fall’s elections. The report at times reads more like invasion of the walking dead instead of how to address the needs of human beings. I’m not going

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

Running on Empty Part 2: Doctor Shopping and Crowbar Dodging

The pharmacist had grey hair and his glasses rested down on a bump in the middle of his nose.  The woman working the counter came over and I handed her the scripts. She asked me for my address and wrote it on the scripts.  I hated when they did that if they didn’t cash them

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

And then they came for…

Last week Donald Trump’s Council on Economic Affairs released a report on homelessness that, like brings to mind his and his administration’s mindless rants about immigrants before last fall’s elections. The report at times reads more like invasion of the walking dead instead of how to address the needs of human beings. I’m not going

‘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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