Count down to Christmas with #INSPadvent! In today’s window, we meet one of Denver VOICE’s top vendors.
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Brian Augustine, 54, Denver, Colorado, USA
Due to a felony background and an injury, Brian had a difficult time finding work and found himself experiencing homelessness. He discovered the Denver VOICE after meeting another vendor, and immediately seized upon the opportunity. Now Brian is able to rent a room with income he makes selling the VOICE. He has sold the paper since 2010. He is one of the paper’s top vendors, and became a member of its board of directors a year ago.
What is the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
It would have to be a book I received from my mom when I was 10. It was ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. I got that and a cap gun. That book sparked a desire to read in me. It taught me the generosity of Christmas, and it’s a memory I’ve cherished.
How do you plan to spend Christmas this year?
I plan to spend Christmas with friends, one of whom I met when she became a regular customer of mine. She invites me to her house every year. We eat dinner together, open presents, and always have great conversations. I always bring wine for dinner, and if I have an oven, I bake my special holiday cookies, which have oatmeal, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and a secret ingredient.
If you did not sell a street paper, how do you think you might be spending Christmas this year?
Probably waiting in line for a meal. There’s no way I’d be able to afford my apartment without the VOICE.
Do you have a special Christmas message for your customers?
The gifts and cards my customers give me are always special, and make for the best Christmas mornings. I hope everyone spends every day like it’s Christmas.
What is a traditional Christmas greeting in your area?
Have a wonderful holiday!
Read Brian’s tribute to ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas here!