Category: Last Word

  • LAST WORD: Christina Sukghian Houle

    LAST WORD: Christina Sukghian Houle

    About a month ago, an artist called Christina Sukhgian Houle dropped into the Spare Change News’ headquarters to meet with some of the vendors. Christina has joined forces with the newspaper’s co-founder, James Shearer, with the goal of making a documentary on homelessness in the Boston area. Christina is a relatively recent transplant to Greater […]

  • Last Word: Mary Ann Ponti

    Last Word: Mary Ann Ponti

    As the director of the outreach programs at St. Anthony Shrine—the Franciscan faith community on Arch Street in downtown Boston—Mary Ann Ponti has connections “five-miles wide.” That’s how Maryanne Rooney-Hegan, the shrine’s development director, put it when the three of us sat down together for an interview in a room on the shrine’s refectory level. […]

  • Last Word: Denice Lowery

    Last Word: Denice Lowery

    This past winter, Spare Change News published Denice Lowery’s poem “Spring Time: How We Grow.” Denice wrote about growth and the cyclical phases of a person’s life using the metaphor of a seed. Beginning its life “burrowed in the soil,” the seed is nourished by the sun, sprouts leaves and eventually grows “older” and “stronger.” […]

  • Last Word: Dawn

    Last Word: Dawn

    Photo: Alena Kuzub I met Dawn on her first day back at Spare Change News after a six-year absence. Based on the big smile on her face and her camaraderie with the paper’s staff, it was obvious she was glad to be back. One thing about this newspaper is that even when Dawn was away, […]

  • Last Word: Hal Rawlings

    Last Word: Hal Rawlings

    Photo: Alena Kuzub Hal Rawlings’ life today couldn’t be more different than the life he led when he was younger. One of the first things he says after sitting down for an interview with me and Spare Change News’ photographer, Alena, is, “Do you know what you’re seeing today, sir? A miracle.” It’s only after […]

  • Last Word: John Binari

    Last Word: John Binari

    Photo: Alena Kuzub Being a newspaper vendor isn’t that different from the work John Binari was doing before he came to Spare Change News: he was working as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army in Porter Square. Although the work was okay and he earned $10 an hour, the season only lasted for four […]

  • LAST WORD: Gary Brown

    LAST WORD: Gary Brown

    Photo: Alena Kuzub Spare Change News works through word of mouth. Most of the vendors who’ve been interviewed in the Last Word column were at some point encouraged to join by another vendor whose testimony inspired them. What this means it that there’s a widening circle of people whose lives have been touched by the […]

  • LAST WORD: Garret Jordan

    LAST WORD: Garret Jordan

    Photo: Alena Kuzub If you’re a regular reader of Spare Change News, you’re probably familiar with one of the newspaper’s most popular features: the Movie Palace film reviews. Garret Jordan has been writing the column since October 2014 when Spare Change News’ former editor-in-chief approached the Black Seed Writers Group looking for writers. “Every Tuesday, […]

  • LAST WORD: Fred Boykin

    LAST WORD: Fred Boykin

    For the first 30 years of his life, Fred Boykin lived securely in the same Dorchester house owned by his mother. His mother was the treasurer of Emmanuel Holy Christian Church in Roxbury and was a strict parent who always made sure Fred came home for dinner at the same time. He remembers her voice […]

  • LAST WORD: Charles

    LAST WORD: Charles

    Next time you’re downtown during the day, look out for Spare Change News vendor Charles. You’ll find him on Tremont Street between Downtown Crossing and Park Street T station. I met him on a fine fall day earlier this month and took him for a stroll through the Common to talk about his experience of […]