Author: Sam Baltrusis

  • DRAGON SLAYERS: Massachusetts communities fight heroin and opioid addiction

    DRAGON SLAYERS: Massachusetts communities fight heroin and opioid addiction

    Travis “The Featherhawk” Snyder was chasing the dragon, a euphemism for heroin and opioid addiction, until he had enough. It was three days before Christmas in 2011 and he was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Detoxing in a jail cell in Pennsylvania, Snyder hit rock bottom. He then did the unthinkable. Snyder […]

  • EDITOR'S NOTE: Sleepless in Seattle

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Sleepless in Seattle

    When I flew from Boston to Seattle last week as a delegate for the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) summit, I was expecting rain. No showers to report. Not a drop. However, the outpouring of support for Spare Change News from street paper editors and staffers from across the globe was inspiring. We reclaimed […]

  • Executive Director of Homeless Empowerment Project, Inc. job listing

    Executive Director of Homeless Empowerment Project, Inc. job listing

    Executive Director Homeless Empowerment Project, Inc. (part-time position) The Homeless Empowerment Project (HEP) is a not-for-profit corporation with an annual budget of $150,000 and five paid staff positions (all part-time). For 23 years, every two weeks HEP has published Spare Change News, a street newspaper addressing issues of homelessness, poverty, and social justice in the […]

  • TV SHOW: Spare Change News TV launches on CCTV

    TV SHOW: Spare Change News TV launches on CCTV

    In case you missed it … below is an archive of Spare Change News TV. The weekly program, airing 5:30 p.m. Mondays on Cambridge Community TV’s channel 9, is a news-driven talk show focusing on the story behind the stories featured in each issue of the country’s oldest continuously operating street newspaper. Click here for […]

  • MISS CONGENIALITY: Katya's alter ego talks stardom, Olympics

    MISS CONGENIALITY: Katya's alter ego talks stardom, Olympics

    When Boston won the bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, Brian McCook’s now famous drag alter ego Katya planned an old-school Russian boycott. “I’m so torn about it,” says McCook, who was in the top five out of 14 performers featured on the current season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. “While I would love to physically […]

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: No place like home

    EDITOR’S NOTE: No place like home

    When I first applied for affordable housing in Somerville three years ago, I had no idea the dream of having my own place would eventually become a reality. It was a long shot. I submitted forms for the AVA Somerville complex slotted for Assembly Square and I quickly dropped off the required paperwork. I crossed […]

  • PHOTOS: Actress Natalie Portman speaks at Harvard

    PHOTOS: Actress Natalie Portman speaks at Harvard

    Spare Change News photographer Ryan Miner shot photos of actress Natalie Portman at Harvard. Portman, who scored an Academy Award for her work in Black Swan, will speak at her alma mater on Wednesday, May 27 as the 2015 Class Day speaker for Harvard College. –Photos by Ryan Miner    

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: Beatrice Bell is SCN's vendor/writer of the year

    EDITOR’S NOTE: Beatrice Bell is SCN's vendor/writer of the year

    When I first met Spare Change News reporter and vendor Beatrice Bell, she was standing across from the mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh, holding her recording device in front of the newly elected politician’s face. It was the opening of the rush-job Southampton Street shelter and she, along with a team of Spare Change News […]

  • EDITOR'S NOTE: Lessons from Jimmy Tingle

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Lessons from Jimmy Tingle

    When I returned to Boston in 2007, I was a mess. I was struggling to find work and, after securing an apartment in Somerville’s Davis Square, I responded to an ad on Craigslist for a job that would introduce me to the man gracing our cover, Jimmy Tingle. Tingle’s Off-Broadway Theater was a haven for […]

  • EDITOR'S NOTE: Never give up

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Never give up

    When I first met author Joe Putignano, he was two years sober and headlining in the touring production of Cirque du Soleil’s Totem. In the show, he was known as Crystal Man and, after he heard me share at a 12-step meeting, he walked up to me with a sweet, almost shy grin. “You’re writing […]