Category: Homelessness & Poverty

  • As coronavirus spreads, homeless people are vulnerable

    Massachusetts and the United States overall are ill-equipped to deal with a pandemic, and homeless people stand to bear the brunt of this lack of preparedness. Many homeless people have pre-existing health conditions, and public health officials in Massachusetts have not set up places for homeless people to wash their hands, or to isolate themselves […]

  • Family homelessness rises faster in Mass. than any other state

    New research from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) finds that since 2007, Massachusetts has been experiencing the highest increase, by percentage, in family homelessness out of all the states in the country.   There are currently 3,400 families experiencing homelessness in Massachusetts.  HUD categorizes homelessness according to a handful of scenarios: trading […]

  • Spare Change Vendor Remembered

    The following is a lightly edited letter from Sumner McClain about Isaac Crawford, a Spare Change News vendor who recently passed away.   I met Isaac Crawford several years ago in Porter Square where he was selling Spare Change News, always with a smile. He introduced himself as “Ike,” and I shared my name, Sumner, with […]

  • Won’t be Silent Anymore: Poor People’s Campaign Comes to Massachusetts

    Over 300 people gathered in Greenfield, Massachusetts last week for a rally with The Poor People’s Campaign: A Call for Moral Revival.” While in the church that held the rally, it was easy to forget that we’re living in a country with a cruel racist as president, where people sleep on the streets, as billionaires […]

  • ‘Still much work to be done’ on homelessness in Massachusetts

    Officials at the New England Regional Office of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) say there’s “still much work to be done” despite an 8 percent decrease in homelessness in Massachusetts from 2018 to 2019. The numbers are based on an annual report that was submitted to Congress earlier this year. The […]

  • Believe it when you see it: City promises money it doesn’t have

    Believe it when you see it: City promises money it doesn’t have

    I will probably be in the minority on this but I’m not at all impressed with the Mayor of Boston’s State of the City speech Tuesday night. Especially the new rental subsidy program. First of all, this is clearly politically motivated, and if you don’t think so, well – to each their own.  But look, […]

  • Boston pledges $500 million over five years for housing

    Mayor Marty Walsh’s administration has announced a five year $500 million investment in affordable housing, but a vital revenue stream needed to fund the investment isn’t a sure thing.  The administration has proposed a transfer tax of up to two percent, which according to Chief Financial Officer Emme Handy would generate “something like in excess […]

  • From the Street to the Finish Line

    From the Street to the Finish Line

    Photo by Margarita Dreyer. When a woman walked into homeless shelters in Philadelphia in 2007 and asked residents if they wanted to go for a run, she didn’t know that by 2019 her individual gesture would be a movement.  Back on my Feet has grown from one woman to an organization with 13 chapters nationwide. […]

  • Over a third of people leaving prison have no place to go

    Over a third of people leaving prison have no place to go

    Imagine for a moment you’re being released from prison after a 12-month sentence for theft. You’re clean, off drugs, it’s been tough, but you’re looking forward to starting a new life. You leave prison and head to the nearest probation service to find out where you’re going to live. Only to find out there’s nowhere […]

  • Winter Arrives Early

    As I sit here writing, I realize that the temperature today, this Tuesday in November is supposed to slam down into the teens with a chill factor below 10 degrees. I remember what it was like to be homeless in weather like this and my heart goes out to my brothers and sisters on the […]