Author Archives: Rupal Ramesh Shah

From the Street to the Finish Line

From the Street to the Finish Line

Photo by Margarita Dreyer. When a woman walked into homeless shelters in Philadelphia in 2007 and asked residents if they wanted to go for a run, she didn’t know that by 2019 her individual gesture would be a movement.  Back on my Feet has grown from one woman to an organization with 13 chapters nationwide.

Are you equipped to respond to an opioid overdose?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 1999 to 2017 more than 702,000 people died from a drug overdose. In 2017, more than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses, making it a leading cause of injury-related deaths in the United States. Of those deaths, almost 68 percent involved opioids. Communities are taking

FANG Collective works to ‘shut down ICE’

Activists disrupt a meeting being held between ICE officials and Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald in March 2019. Photo courtesy of FANG Collective As Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sweeps through immigrant communities, disrupting lives and breaking up families, some local law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts have solidified their desire to help ICE into

A Case for Safe Injection Facilities: SIFMA NOW

There are plenty of risks that come with injecting drugs into one’s body, from communicable diseases and infections, to overdoses and death. As overdoses continue unabated, some concerned citizens are advocating for safe injection sites. Supervised Injection Facilities in Massachusetts NOW (SIFMA NOW) is a Boston-based coalition dedicated to bringing safe injection facilities, where those

Jetpac: The New Face of Diversity and Inclusion

Although Jetpac is an acronym that stands for Justice, Education, Technology, Policy and Advocacy Center, it’s much more than that for Muslim Americans. Shaun Kennedy, Jetpac’s executive director, and Nadeem Mazen, its president, founded the nonprofit in December 2015 in order to increase civic engagement and community service in Muslim communities. Kennedy, who’s from Norfolk

Medical Care from a Van: Q & A with Dr. Avik Chatterjee

Dr. Avik Chatterjee, a doctor trained in internal medicine and pediatrics, has been taking care of homeless patients out of a medical van as part of an outreach program at Boston Health Care for the Homeless for the past three years. He works out of the van two days a week, and during his short

NuVu Studio: A Non-Traditional Approach to Learning about Homelessness

Last January NuVu Studio in Central Square set out to teach their students empathy and compassion for the homeless. When they were done, the students had designed a vending machine that distributes scarves, a kenetic energy device that charges iPhones, and a new sign for Harvard Square’s Y2Y shelter. NuVu Studio is a full-time innovation

Family Reunions Through Miracle Messages

Miracle Messages, based in San Francisco, is an organization that assists homeless individuals reunite with their lost loved ones using short video messages. Kevin Adler, chief executive officer of the organization, started the organization in honor of his uncle Mark in December 2014. His uncle lived on and off the streets for 30 years and

Elected Officials Declare Homelessness an Emergency

First it was Los Angeles, then it was Portland, and now it’s the state of Hawaii. All three places have declared a state of emergency to address homelessness. On September 22nd, the Los Angeles city council declared a state of emergency to address homelessness. The city council appropriated $100 million to fund initiatives such as

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