Spare Change News

Sara Pacelle is the associate director of development at the non-profit Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. The program operates out of a four-story building across from Boston Medical Center. Pacelle says about one-third of the patients the program treats are women.

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Bill Brett

500 guests attended Health Care for the Homeless Program’s annual gala, which honored Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh for his work with those in the city facing homelessness.

More more than $1 million was raised for its programs. The Medicine That Matters gala was held at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.

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Close the bathroom door at Supportive Place for Observation and Treatment (SPOT), and you have two minutes and 50 seconds. Then the alarm sounds, warning staff to check on the person inside. People sometimes inject drugs in SPOT’s bathroom, just as they do in the bathrooms of Starbucks or McDonald’s. The longer you wait to reverse an overdose, the harder it gets. SPOT, run by Boston Health Care for the Homeless, has had to shorten that window, from five minutes, to four, to three, and now, to two minutes and 50 seconds — even a 10-second margin means life or death.

Many people use drugs far from the clinicians who could save their lives if they overdose. And the drugs they use have become more lethal — fentanyl, a synthetic opioid many times more potent than heroin, is now common throughout Massachusetts. People die within minutes after injection. SPOT cares for people who’ve already used. But, it would be better to have clinicians present during the life-threatening moments of and right after drug use.

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The Fix

The new system can alert employees to possible overdose cases and allow them to take action before it’s too late.

A Boston-based contractor is currently developing and implementing a system to detect overdose in bathrooms so that employees at common locations for drug use can be alerted to an overdose and intervene, according to Filter.

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WCVB's Karen Holmes Ward will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies at the 2019 Medicine that Matters Gala!

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Filter Mag

As the US harm reduction community grapples with the legal, cultural and political challenges to implementing the nation’s first legal safe consumption space, some innovative designers are playing their part to help mitigate historic overdose levels right now. They are bringing safety interventions to the public restrooms where injection drug use is already occurring.

A contractor in Boston recently incorporated what he believes is the first company dedicated to create overdose-proof bathrooms—or as close as he can get to that—by installing motion detectors.

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MetroWest Daly News

For the second straight year, St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church converted its social hall and kitchen into assembly lines to package 10,000 meals for the Outreach Program.

According to Martin, the completed meal packages will be distributed to NuDay, a program helping refugees in Syria, as well as local food pantries such as A Place to Turn in Natick, the Newton Food Pantry and Boston Health Care for the Homeless.

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Wicked Local Burlington

Every national movement starts locally. In this case, the movement to spread the message of and encourage acts of kindness started at the dining room table of Burlington resident Joyce Deliyiannis in 2009, who is the founder of Massachusetts-based nonprofit HELPIS.

HELPIS has grown into a network of a few hundred individual volunteer donors who step in and step up to fulfill requests from numerous organizations across eastern Massachusetts. Civic organizations, including the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce, hold annual fundraisers to support HELPIS’ mission.

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Yahoo Finance

Massachusetts' top two youth volunteers of 2019, Julia Cuddy, 17, of Needham and Will Gladstone, 14, of Arlington, were honored in the nation's capital last night for their outstanding volunteer service during the 24th annual presentation of The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Julia and Will – along with 100 other top youth volunteers from across the country – received a $1,000 award and personal congratulations from award-winning actress Viola Davis at an award ceremony and gala dinner reception held at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

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WCVB Channel 5

5 for Good features the HER Saturday weekly women's health clinic, which offers women experiencing homelessness a safe space. Free services include primary care, haircuts, manicures, and breakfast at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

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