News

The history of homelessness in the US rears its head in the face of COVID-19

Many will not remember this, but before the early 1980s, there weren’t millions of homeless people in the United States. Far too many lived in poverty, but people were not forced to live in the streets. The advent of contemporary homelessness is well documented. It was created by a federal government response to what was,

Senior Living in the Days of the Plague

The COVID-19 pandemic has me rethinking assisted housing for seniors. I’m watching the death toll among nursing homes and veteran facilities skyrocket. They are like petri dishes enabling the virus to leap from one human being to the next. I’m 74-years-old and my wife is 72. I’m grateful that we haven’t made the transition to

The history of homelessness in the US rears its head in the face of COVID-19

Many will not remember this, but before the early 1980s, there weren’t millions of homeless people in the United States. Far too many lived in poverty, but people were not forced to live in the streets. The advent of contemporary homelessness is well documented. It was created by a federal government response to what was,

Refugees sleeping rough on outskirts of EU

Usually, seeing homeless people is no reason for joy. But in Budapest it is – last year, head of state Viktor Orbán and his right-wing national government passed a law criminalising homeless people for sleeping rough. They are given three warnings and then imprisoned. Thankfully, the law is not enforced everywhere. The criminalisation of homeless

There are a lot of lessons in this pandemic – will we learn them?

COVID-19 has taken over all of our lives. It has separated us from family and friends, closed schools, playgrounds, and churches; it’s taken from us all that we take for granted. Simple things like going for walks seem risky, and many of our cities look like ghost towns. It’s  so quiet you can hear the

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

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

…’To You’

” First they came for the Socialists … I did not speak out …    and there was no one left to speak for me.”  —  Martin Niemoller It always closes in on you the same way. When it was about being kidnapped (back) into slavery. Or when peoples have been, are plagued by epidemic

…’To You’

” First they came for the Socialists … I did not speak out …    and there was no one left to speak for me.”  —  Martin Niemoller It always closes in on you the same way. When it was about being kidnapped (back) into slavery. Or when peoples have been, are plagued by epidemic

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

Movie Review: The Rhythm Section

I apologize if this review screams at you to not see this movie, but my job here is to tell you whether or not a movie is worth seeing, and that means not every review will radiate positivity.So, here we go.Reed Morano (The Handmaid’s Tale) directs The Rhythm Section with Blake Lively, starring as Stephanie

Columns

Resiliency: A Moment In An Addict’s Time

If I made funny noises and ran around the room, I wouldn’t have to tell the therapist anything. I know my mother told him I wet the bed all the time. But no one else knows about the boy who said he would play doctor and stuck the stick up my rectum. And no one

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

Uncertainties and Impermanence

My wonderful wife, Mary Esther, and I just returned from a visit with the surgeon who will be operating on her back. It’s much more involved than we thought it would be, and we are meditating every day just to help us cope. We’re trying to keep it in the day, but we can’t help

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

There are a lot of lessons in this pandemic – will we learn them?

COVID-19 has taken over all of our lives. It has separated us from family and friends, closed schools, playgrounds, and churches; it’s taken from us all that we take for granted. Simple things like going for walks seem risky, and many of our cities look like ghost towns. It’s  so quiet you can hear the

‘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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