Author Archives: James Shearer

Being Presidential

Being Presidential

Nine of the last 12 years of my life I have been president. No, not of the United States, but of Homeless Empowerment Project, which publishes Spare Change News. That said, I do know a little something about being presidential. First I need to say that being the president of anything can be difficult, whether

Safe injection sites could save lives

James Shearer co-founded Spare Change News nearly 25 years ago, and each week he offers up his unfiltered take on issues affecting some of the most vulnerable people in the community.   Over​ ​the​ ​last​ ​few​ ​months,​ ​there​ ​have​ ​been​ ​calls​ ​by​ ​both​ ​medical​ ​professionals,​ ​activists,​ ​and,​ ​yes,​ ​even  politicians​ ​for​ ​a​ ​safe​ ​injection​ ​site.​

Do Homeless Lives Matter?

As I write this, people are reacting to Trump pulling us out of the Paris climate change accord. People are talking about what Kathy Griffin did. Earlier in the week, people were all aglow over the new Boston Bridge program, which will send Boston students to college without them having to pay tuition. As usual,

Coming together to end homelessness

In the 25 plus years I’ve been involved with homelessness, whether it’s been personal experience or as an activist, the one question I always keep coming back to is: “Why can’t we solve it?” There are probably a million reasons why we haven’t, but it’s not happening, and you’d think that with the wealth of

IMMORTAL: Spare Change News is 25-years-old

If anyone had told me or any of the founders that Spare Change News would be here 25 years later, we would have shattered the windows of our old offices with the peals of very loud laughter. Hell, if you had told us at the end of 1992—after we’d moved to Old Cambridge Baptist Church—we

Open spaces: Parks over people?

I recently came upon an article about Mayor Martin J. Walsh proposing $25 million from the city’s fiscal year 2018 capital plan budget be spent on schools, libraries, crosswalk and traffic signals and … open spaces? What are “open spaces”? Okay, I know it means parks and playgrounds, etc. I’m not begrudging that these places

Common Sense: Transitional programs work for the homeless

When last we spoke, I talked about the closing of two transitional programs in Boston. The reason HUD is cutting funding for all transitional programs is they would rather put that money into Housing First and the latest Band-Aid solution—rapid rehousing. According to HUD, “the Rapid Rehousing program will provide services to individuals and families

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