Tag: vendor profiles

  • 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: Chris Mesfin

    Last Word: Chris Mesfin

    February is Black History Month, and Spare Change News vendor and writer Chris Mesfin took some time out of his day to explain to me the importance of the month, not only for him and his community but for the whole of the United States. For Chris, black history involves understanding the past and taking […]

  • 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: 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 […]



    I sit at my desk looking around my office and I have to feel gratitude. It’s 2015 and just 21 years ago I was strung out on heroin and didn’t know where I was going to lay my head at night. In the last issue of Spare Change News was an article about me as […]

  • LAST WORD: Jerry Harrell

    LAST WORD: Jerry Harrell

    Jerry Harrell is one of Spare Change News’ “old guard.” Alongside Algia Benjamin and James Shearer, he was among the original lineup of vendors who sold the first issue of the newspaper in May 1992. The cover of that issue—a photograph of a man selling catnip for $2 a bag—embodies what the newspaper is all about: […]