INSP Advent Calendar: day nine

Carry on counting down to Christmas with #INSPadvent! You can donate to back INSP’s work supporting street papers and their vendors here.

Steven Thompson is a Speak Up vendor. Credit: Deborah Shaw

Steven Thompson, 56, Traverse City, Michigan, USA

Steve has been homeless since late January of 2015. He lost a job on Mackinaw Island, and moved back down to Traverse City. He did some painting and odd jobs, but could not earn enough to rent a home. He currently is homeless, camping in the northern woods, and selling Speak Up to get by. He has been selling actively since February 2015. He is originally from Cedar, Michigan and currently sells Speak Up in Traverse City.

What is the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?

It is hard to say what was my best Christmas, but I remember my father on Christmas. I was the oldest of seven siblings, but still a youngster. One year I got everyone a present, but did not get anything back. I cried. My father followed me to my room and sat down with me. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a pen light which he gave to me.

It was my best Christmas, because my Dad showed compassion to me.

How do you plan to spend Christmas this year?

It depends where I am at. I am signed up for a few homes. Hoping something comes through… Checking the mail.

If you did not sell a street paper, how do you think you might be spending Christmas this year?


Do you have a special Christmas message for your customers?

Yes, thanks for stopping. Thanks for caring.