News articles

The Politics of Panhandling: Part 1

Just last week I was reading about how the city of Seattle was thinking about enacting a ban against aggressive panhandling. They wouldn’t be the first to do so, as many cities are either considering or already have such a ban on the books. I am personally torn when it comes to the subject of

Houseboats: Weathering the Economic

As many Americans ditch their gas guzzling clunkers for more fuel-efficient vehicles, others are going a step further and trading in their rent and utility bills for life at sea. Living aboard is a very unique trend in the United States, providing some with the adventure of traveling the seven seas and others a cheaper

Local Community to Walk for Haiti

Jacques Fleury: The Haitian Firefly Spare Change News Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “Life’s most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?” So let’s take a moment to remember the less fortunate and, instead of accumulating more “stuff” that we don’t really need, work to help our brothers and sisters in

Faith-Based Groups Advocate for Fair Practice in Mortgage Lending

Four decades prior to the millennium, faith-based community groups organized to become a very powerful force to confront the Pentagon and two U.S. Presidents—Johnson and Nixon—to stop the Vietnam War. These faith-based agencies facilitated anti-war protests nationally and offered draft resistance counseling to young men facing conscription. As these groups organized anti-war marches on our

Spare Change's Most Insidious Myths

It’s not often that one newspaper will give a plug to another, especially within its own pages. Yet this rarity occurred in a recent (February 23, 2010) issue of The Beacon Hill Times, in which a letter to the editor by Jake Kritzer lauded Spare Change News and the work that we do. Jake, if

Spare Change Silent Auction

It’s hard to believe, but we’re all grown up. For the past 18 years, Spare Change News has been empowering persons experiencing homelessness and other forms of social and economic adversity to improve their lives through self-employment. Through the voices of its vendors and the content of its pages, Spare Change has consistently engaged in advocacy and worked to

Housing Lost, Housing Regained, Housing Kept

Robert L. Karash Homelessness in this world isn’t going away easily despite all efforts to eradicate it as a syndrome and all sincere attempts to help people back on their feet by giving them a hand up, not a hand out. People—including politicians and social scientists—like to say “The solution to homelessness is housing.” Although

Banking on Change

This is the first in a series of social banking articles. I became familiar with Wainwright Bank four years ago when I was invited to attend a meeting by Oakes Plimpton of the Arlington Farmers Market and the Boston Area Gleaners. Plimpton circulated a newspaper article highlighting Wainwright Bank and its online donation program,

A Few Items Rolling Around My Mind…

1) Bullies Why is it that in this state—or this country in general for that matter—do we need to have violence or death in order to confront an issue? This week’s crisis: Bullies. Welcome to the real world boys and girls—bullies have been around since the dawn of time, especially in schools where being a