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A Victory for Privacy Rights in Shelter Living

Marisela Fermin The U.S. court system has long provided a setting for action within the homeless community. In the landmark 1979 case Callahan v. Carey, a class-action lawsuit initiated on behalf of the homeless in New York, the court ruled that shelter was a constitutional right. However, even more than 30 years later, the legal

Local Leaders Agree: Problem of Homelessness is Solvable

The message would seem patent—the first step towards solving homelessness is to get those without housing a home. Yet this obvious notion has been imbued with renewed meaning since the introduction of federal “Housing First” and “Rapid Transition to Housing” initiatives, to be implemented under the recently passed 2009 HEARTH Act. According to the parameters

"Spare Change?"

Robert L. Karash People who walk through the streets in major cities and in other places frequently hear cries of “Spare Change?” or “Can anyone spare some change?”. These requests usually come from someone who is ostensibly homeless or down on their luck in life. How a society-at-large reacts to this plea is an indication

Byrnesie’s Tips in Tough Times #2: Networking

Michael W. Byrnes, Jr. As the social media “revolution” continues to change the world, an increasing number of communications are exchanged online. The benefit is that we all have access to endless amounts of information. The drawback is that it can be quite overwhelming. In an era of information overload, here is some advice to

A Pair of Crutches

James Shearer I was supposed to be writing more on panhandling in this column but something else even more important drew my attention: health care. It’s funny how something so simple and personal can actually make you sit up take notice. Last week my better half went into the hospital for knee surgery. Nothing major

Lawyers Clearinghouse: Pro Bono Consultation for Those in Need

Adam Sennott For more than 20 years, one local organization has been ensuring that Boston’s homeless and nonprofits receive fair and adequate representation in the court of law. Lawyers Clearinghouse is a nonprofit organization that provides legal services to homeless men and women living in shelters, as well as to nonprofit organizations throughout the Boston

Banking on Change Part 2: Cambridge Savings Bank

Robert Sondak The Cambridge Savings Bank is a financial institution whose history spans 176 years. This Harvard Square headquartered bank has grown despite weathering three periods of economic hardship over the past 110 years. During the depression of the late 1930s, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPA employed a

Not in Here You Don’t: Plans to Ban Smoking in Boston Public Housing

Marisela Fermin In January 2010, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino announced his vision for smoke-free public housing by 2014. The proposed ban would prohibit public housing residents from smoking within their apartment units and in shared common spaces. Individuals who want to smoke would have to do so outside their buildings. Low-income smokers in MA also

The Argument for Prevention

Amid competing cries of triumph and consternation—along with some grunts of cynicism—health care reform in America will become reality. Scholars, journalists and politicians have together acknowledged the significance of the Health Care Bill, passed through the U.S. House of Representatives on March 21st as the Reconciliation Act of 2010. The package represents the culmination of

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