Last Word articles

LAST WORD: Barbara “Susan” Holden

LAST WORD: Barbara “Susan” Holden

Living in Florida with her partner Walter, who’s also a vendor for Spare Change News, Barbara “Susan” Holden knew to avoid the cops on the last Friday of the month. “ID Friday” is what she’d call it, because that was the day the police would run their IDs, hoping they’d find a record so they

LAST WORD: Walter Stewart

Walter Stewart was born in Gary, Indiana, a city founded by the United States Steel Corporation in 1906. Steel production ran in the blood of Garyites for over a hundred years and still, today, the city produces 7.5 million tons annually. With their combined careers, Walter’s father and grandfather worked in steelmaking for over 70

LAST WORD: Jerry Harrell

Jerry Harrell is one of Spare Change News’ “old guard.” Alongside Algia Benjamin and James Shearer, he was among the original lineup of vendors who sold the first issue of the newspaper in May 1992. The cover of that issue—a photograph of a man selling catnip for $2 a bag—embodies what the newspaper is all about:

LAST WORD: James Shearer

If it wasn’t for James Shearer and the independent news outlet he co-founded in 1992, homeless people on the streets of this city would be seen but not necessarily heard. While mainstream publications like the Boston Globe occasionally run stories on homelessness, their perspective is usually limited to a trip to a shelter and a

Beatrice Bell

LAST WORD: Beatrice Bell

It’s the morning of Good Friday at Spare Change News, and Beatrice Bell, one of the newspaper’s longest-serving reporters, is telling me an amazing story. At the age of seven, after a terrible asthma attack, she found herself having one of those life-changing experiences that are called, in the literature, “near-death.” For three days, which

Top