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The Homeless Empowerment Project publishes Spare Change News from our offices in Cambridge, Mass. The newspaper - one of the world's first street papers - focuses on poverty, homelessness, and social justice in the Greater Boston area. Spare Change News offers both a voice and an opportunity for people experiencing homelessness and economic disadvantage. In addition to advocacy, we provide social and economic opportunities for the vendors, those who sell the paper, including self-employment, skill development, and peer support.
Spare Change News was started by a small group of homeless people in 1992, the first street paper to be founded by people who themselves were homeless. With other street papers, we are now part of an international movement for self-empowerment: www.street-papers.org.
New vendors are given ten free copies of Spare Change News. Subsequently, they purchase copies of the paper for 35 cents and sell them for $1 on the street, keeping all the proceeds for themselves. Vendors and other economically disadvantaged contributors are paid stipends for their published work through our Writers' Fund.
Through the publication, as well as via our website, we provide a vehicle for talented writers, poets, illustrators, and photographers to express their experiences with homelessness and poverty. While the stories in Spare Change News Spare Change are most concerned with news surrounding poverty and homelessness in the area around Greater Boston, we also cover issues of national and international importance.