October 13, 2017
Dear Fellow Change-maker:
There are so many things to be grateful for! Just over three months ago, I joined the team — I have to admit that I’m astounded by the people who participate on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis at both the Homeless Empowerment Project and our flagship social justice newspaper Spare Change News. There are so many extraordinary people and projects that you need to know more about:
- The organization could not be in operation without our amazing team members: James (Founder and Board President), Alex (Spare Change News Editor-in-Chief), and Sam(Distribution Manager), and our Vendors who sell Spare Change News every day. Over the past months, I have truly fallen in love with our vendors — I hope you have had an opportunity to befriend at least one and learn about their lives, stories, successes, and share your heart. I assure you: your heart will be fuller and more grateful knowing any one of these people.
- Our youth empowerment programs have taken on a whole new life! The Empathy Project and the Young Entrepreneurs Project have now reached a vibrant and vital phase. We are seeing more and more evidence based research showing that empowering people is a vital solution for expanding the possibility of success. Within the youth population — we are working on creating a kinder, gentler world of leaders with hopes of it being the ‘new normal’. There is a lot of work to be done — we have hope and we are not afraid to use it!
- Spare Change News is devoted to producing high quality editorial content, including journalistic, fiction, creative and opinion writing, illustration, and cartooning. Our content is nearly 100% locally produced, with much of it written, drawn, and photographed by currently or formerly homeless, or otherwise low-income individuals. Spare Change News was first published 25 years ago in May 1992, and was one of the first street newspapers in the United States. In 2017, we have gone digital allowing for a greater reach outside of the Boston area. And with a donation of $50 or more, you receive a free digital subscription!
- One of our long-term mission goals has always been to increase awareness about housing insecurity and the people who are experiencing it through their stories. I’m not sure if you are seeing what I’m seeing, but I often see people online loudly voicing inaccuracies about the homeless — the comments are often cruel and exhibit a tremendous lack of compassion. At the Homeless Empowerment Project, we are taking this head on with a broad reaching public awareness campaign. Follow our Facebook page to learn more and, even more importantly, please share the message!
Reality strikes every day for the homeless. In the face of all that there is to be grateful for and hopeful about, on any single night in 2016, there were 549,928 people experiencing homelessness in the US; 68% sheltered and 32% unsheltered. With 22% (120,819) of those who are homeless being children under the age of 18. 77,486 individuals and 8,646 people in families met the definition of chronically homeless (ref: The 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report – HUD Exchange) … there is a great deal of work left to do. We are going to need all hands-on deck helping the greater population understand and have empathy for those who are housing insecure.
Now this is where you come in! I hope you can find it in your heart to use the envelope and give generously today! If you make this gift, we will be able to continue to get the word out, help people create healthy lives, and empowering our current and future leaders. It’s going to take all of us to create a world that works for each and every person —with no one left out. Please give generously. Again, with a donation of $50 or more, you will receive a one-year subscription to digital Spare Change News. Donate today — thank you in advance!
Eva Montibello, Executive Director, Homeless Empowerment Project;
James Shearer, Founder and Board President of the Homeless, Empowerment Project & Spare Change News
Click Below to donate today!