Profiles articles

FEMALE TROUBLE: Advocates address feminine hygiene

FEMALE TROUBLE: Advocates address feminine hygiene

Brittany sat under an alcove in Harvard Square, sign in hand and a cup of loose change in front of her. She sets up there nearly every day, she says, with the same sign but with a different Dunkin’ Donuts cup. Her blue-dyed tips peek out of her yellow, owl-printed bandana. Kal stands next to


Tommy D. has fantastically blue eyes. Outside the Spare Change News headquarters, in the bright sunshine, it’s a little hard to tell exactly whether they’re blue, green or a mixture of both. When I mention how amazing they are, he replies jokingly that it must be something to do with his mixed Cuban/Italian ancestry. The


One of Joe M.’s earliest memories is of jumping into bed at night and his mother saying, “Quiet, I’m praying.” Joe always respected his mother. Telling me about her now, he laughs at the little quirks in her character—for instance, the fact that she would always make Joe and his sisters go to church on

Linda Larson: Rise and Shine

The poems printed here were selected from Linda Larson’s most recent book, Rise and Shine, published by Wilderness House Press. Larson writes with exquisite talent and soul. She reaches into her past to give the reader stunning portraits of a kaleidoscope of feelings and situations, from a doorway in Cambridge on a cold winter night

LAST WORD: SCN vendor Jon Denning

If you’ve ever passed through Harvard Square on a national holiday, you may have noticed a Spare Change News vendor in his early 20s carrying a holiday-inspired, cardboard sign. That’s Jon Denning. When we posted a picture of Denning with his last sign on the Spare Change News Facebook page—a message inspired by Martin Luther

LAST WORD: Algia Benjamin

Alabama in the early 1960s wasn’t the easiest place for an African-American woman to raise 10 children, but Algia Benjamin’s mother did just that—until they left for Boston in 1966. Growing up during the Civil Rights movement when segregation was still in place, Benjamin remembers his mother being so afraid that she sometimes felt reluctant

HEART STRINGS: Shelter Music Boston creates human connections

Julie Leven, classical violinist who holds degrees in English and Music from Oberlin College and Conservatory, has always felt an impulse to help the less fortunate and was influenced by her alma mater’s legacy of promoting social justice. Leven also loves music. These two passions came together for her in 2010 when she founded Shelter