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The Harvard Square Homeless Shelter Youth Initiative, aimed at launching the first overnight shelter for youth in Cambridge, has received a grant that will support its operating costs for the next 15 years.
The toilet will be located between Harvard Yard and the Old Burying Ground and is expected to open later this fall or early next year.
Melvin Jenkins, known by students and frequenters of Harvard Square as a warm and friendly man, died on June 16 in Massachusetts General Hospital.
Earlene “Frenchie” French pets her dog Penny while panhandling with her partner, Ken O’Brien. O’Brien said that Penny is the second dog he has had while on the street, and that caring for a pet has motivated him to stay sober.
Justin Newton, 33, panhandles on Mass. Ave. Newton, who has been homeless for over two years, said he tries to make creative signs.
After a dispute with her mother, three years ago, Harley, 19, left home, adopting the “gypsy” lifestyle and traveling from one East Coast city to the next.
Jade Hosie stops on Mass. Ave. while on her way to CASPAR in Central Square to take a shower. Hosie, a Buffalo native, has lived on the streets of Harvard Square for over 10 months and finds herself depressed by what she has seen.
The homeless experience in the Square varies widely.
Though homeless youths in Cambridge have the best chance of avoiding chronic homelessness, they also are among the most vulnerable.
Ken, left, and Frenchie, right, ask for spare change with their dog Penny outside clothier J. August. Ken ran an outdoor book store on the sidewalk of Massachusetts Ave. for eight years before having to shut down in 2013.
Though many store owners and others affiliated with Harvard Square business positively characterize their relationship with the homeless, some cite concerns about the impact of the visible homeless population on the shopping experience.
Bread & Jams, located at 50 Quincy Street in the basement of the Swedenborg Chapel, provides homeless people with basic food and clothing needs as a self-advocacy center.