Author Archives: James Shearer

Boston Courts to Homeless People: You Don’t Matter

Boston Courts to Homeless People: You Don’t Matter

My column this week was supposed to be about the so-called “Free Speech Rally.” It was supposed to be about the pride that swelled in my chest as my adopted hometown—which has itself faced more than enough issues when it comes to racism—overwhelmingly rejected (to the tune of 40,000 people) the same crap that engulfed

Musings on Charlottesville from a Black man

As I watched the events in Charlottesville unfold, I thought to myself, how in the hell did we get here? Is this all that is left? What has happened to us? Where did all this hate come from to begin with? And I don’t just mean whites. I’ve seen and heard racist dialogue coming from

National Circus Distracts From ‘Trump-like’ cuts in Mass.

In recent weeks, many activists have focused on Donald Trump’s shenanigans. He really can’t help himself, can he? Other activists have been glued to their TV sets, computers and phones closely following the health care debate, as they should. However, while we’re distracted by the antics going on in D.C., things are going on in

A Day in the Life

Last Friday I got up—or rather, tried to get up—after a rather sleepless night. Like my favorite fictional superhero and his arch enemy, I suffer from insomnia, but unlike them, I struggle to do the whole rise-and-shine thing the next morning. But this was a little different. I’d been tossing and turning all night because

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

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