Spare Change Helps Reintegrate Homeless Into Community

In the six years Greg Dougherty has been a Spare Change vendor, his smile and sales pitch have become a fixture in Harvard Square.

But his days selling the twice-monthly paper will soon end. He has recently decided it is time for him move on and find a 9-to-5 job.

His journey from homelessness to working for Spare Change to being on the cusp of regular employment is a representative Spare Change story.


For the past eight years, Spare Change has been working quietly in the basement of the Old Cambridge Baptist Church on Mass. Ave. making small differences in the lives of the homeless.

On the Street

The oldest street newspaper in New England, Spare Change began in 1992 as a way for homeless people to gain stability by creating a successful product.

The vendors, who either are homeless or have been homeless, buy the paper from the program for 25 cents each, sell for $1 and keep the profit.

"Putting cash directly in the hands of the homeless is unique in a non-profit organization," says Linda Larson, editor of Spare Change.

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