INSP News Service

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The INSP News Service is one of our key member services, providing editorial support to street papers to build their capacity and quality, and increase vendors’ sales. These highlights from our weekly members' news feed demonstrate the talent working in the street paper movement.

News posts by INSP News Service:

Suddenly a Ghost Town

From her pitch in Melbourne, The Big Issue Australia’s Mariann B watches the city become deserted, and the streets fall silent as coronavirus forces everyone into lockdown.

It took a pandemic to create the emergency response we’ve needed all along

In this instalment of his weekly column, Tim Harris, founding director of Seattle street paper Real Change, wonders why it took the crisis initiated by the spread of coronavirus for city officials to realise that the measures had to be taken to help the homeless population into shelter. In Seattle, as in other parts of the world, the pandemic has shown that the way, if not the will, to help those in need was there all along.

Street papers provide global update on how the world’s homeless population is facing the coronavirus

The Big Issue took stock of how coronavirus is affecting the world’s homeless community, providing another update on just how severely the spread of the virus is impacting street papers and the people for which they provide an income.

Coronavirus and Australia’s homeless people

This latest COVID-19 dispatch is from Australia, where like most places across the world, there is a cognitive dissonance when it comes to being urged to stay at home when, in fact, you don’t have a home to go to.

Social enterprise Viarama is giving people a chance to see the world, virtually

Viarama, an Edinburgh-based social enterprise that uses virtual reality for social good, aims to give people from all walks of life the opportunity to experience reality virtually. From helping those suffering from debilitating health conditions see where their wedding took place to using a different approach when teaching students with learning difficulties, Viarama is constantly finding new ways to use virtual reality to help their community.

Two Big Issue vendors on how the UK’s COVID-19 measures will affect them

With The Big Issue no longer able to have its vendors sell the magazine on the street, the great majority have seen their usual way of earning an income vanish overnight. Here, they describe how the coronavirus lockdown is going to affect them.

How San Francisco’s poor and homeless people are surviving during the coronavirus pandemic

Quiver Watts, editor of San Francisco’s Street Sheet, writes that the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak not only poses a greater risk to the city’s population living in poverty, but argues that they will be made “a convenient scapegoat to take attention off the real failures in the city’s emergency response”.

Drug and alcohol recovery in a time of isolation

As recovery support groups across the US cancel and move online due to COVID-19 measures, an increase in relapses could compound demands on health care providers.

Scarp de’ tenis editor Stefano Lampertico: “Coronavirus makes no exceptions for street paper vendors”

Italy is in nationwide lockdown, effectively quarantining its entire population in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Inside the initial red zone of the northern region of Lombardy sits the city of Milan, where Italian street paper Scarp de’ tenis is based. The magazine’s editor Stefano Lampertico writes vividly of life under lockdown for the publication and the vendors it serves.

INSP North America director Israel Bayer: “For those on the front lines of homelessness, Covid-19 represents a reality that people already live with every single day”

Israel Bayer, director of INSP North America, provides context for why the official response to the coronavirus outbreak in the region is failing those who are homeless and living in poverty, and writes about why systemic injustices mean that, amidst this health crisis, that community is being left behind.

Street survival in Portland in the age of coronavirus

Street Roots executive director Kaia Sand sends a dispatch from Oregon after visiting a small homeless camp housing a handful of the Portland street paper’s vendors who have become proactive about safeguarding themselves and staying healthy as the coronavirus panic sweeps the Pacific Northwest United States.

Coronavirus: What does self-isolation look like if you sleep rough?

As the impact of the coronavirus spreads further around the world, guidance has been put in place for how to prevent it spreading and what to do if you suspect you have contracted it. However, rough sleepers cannot safeguard themselves in the same ways the general public can. The Big Issue spoke to homeless shelters and other front-line service providers to find out what plans they have in place.