Human Rights articles

Ban This, Ban That

Ban This, Ban That

As I write this column, it’s a very frigid, cold day and the night will be even colder. Naturally, I can’t help but think of those who have nowhere to go, and as I think of them I wonder why people are trying to run away or even hide the homeless. I say that because

Special Court Seeks to Meet Needs of Homeless Offenders

by Abigail Collins BOSTON, Mass.—Once a month, a small room with welcoming light blue walls at the Pine Street Inn in Boston’s South End serves as a courtroom. The court rises as First Justice Kathleen Coffey enters to begin hearing cases from defendants who have come to Homeless Court. “It’s a non-intimidating environment,” said Elizabeth

Showly Nicholson Looks to a New Platform for Helping the Homeless

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Harvard Square is, in many ways, an excellent snapshot of the unique qualities that define the greater Boston area: the same street corners and T stations that are frequented by Harvard University’s most promising students, and homeless individuals who don’t know when they will get their next meal. These streets are also the breeding

More Than Just the Bridge: Long Island Clients and Allies Speak Out for Housing, Rehab and Improved Services

On October 8, the Long Island bridge—the only access route to Boston’s largest shelter (450 beds), roughly half the city’s detox beds, and a total of 15 programs, including recovery, transitional, and re-entry services—was closed down with only a four-hour notice. Cleve Rae, 58, who had only been homeless for a few days, remembers being

Remembering Menino: The Former Mayor’s Legacy on Social Justice

The late Mayor Tom Menino’s impact on the city of Boston was easy to see after his death on the morning of Oct. 30. Thousands visited his casket in Fanuiel Hall on Saturday, Nov. 2, and thousands more lined the route of his funeral procession the next day. As the oft-repeated statistic claims, more than

New City Commission on Black Men and Boys Comes to a Vote

BOSTON, Mass.—The founder of the New Democracy Coalition, Kevin C. Peterson, recently wrote an opinion piece in the Boston Herald giving Boston’s officials a red flag. “The status of black and Latino men and boys must become one of the city’s priorities,” Peterson said. “If it doesn’t, we are just kicking the can further down

Culture’s Role on Latino Mental Health Patients

BOSTON, Mass.—When it comes to treating Latino patients with chronic mental health illnesses, social and cultural activities such as cooking and playing board games can be an important part of their recovery. The Connexions Day Treatment Program at the North Suffolk Mental Health Association is a short-term day and evening program offered in English, Spanish,

Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program Tackles Problem of Childhood Hunger

CAMBRIDGE, Mass—Alanna Mallon spends her Friday mornings sorting food into neat piles and packaging it up. She’s part of the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program (CWBP) — a volunteer-run food distribution program that provides food backpacks for food-insecure children to take home over weekends and school holidays. Volunteers at each school package the food under the

The Bridge To Nowhere

I am sitting in my comfortable office chair with a Suboxone dissolving under my tongue as I write about the fellow addicts who have been sent into the dark night. It is all because of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ despicable planning and the sudden closing of the bridge that was leading so many addicts and