What’s been making the front pages of street papers during the past month?
Portland’s Street Roots has a periodic column about the parts of homelessness most people don’t talk about. In the US, the proportion of elderly people experiencing poverty and homelessness has risen by more than 20 per cent in the past 15 years. For this instalment, Street Roots explores what being homeless is like for people in the later years of their lives.
Edward Johnson has been working as a One Step Away vendor for over a year and moved into housing in August. Over 5,000 Philadelphians are affected by homelessness on any given night and, until recently, Edward was one of them. One Step Away finds out more about the sequence of events that led to Edward losing his home and hears about how One Step Away has given him support that he is richly grateful for.
Samuel Diarra, 71, was born in Mali and now works as a CAIS vendor at the Campo Pequeno in Lisbon. Samuel dreams of being a poet and talks enthusiastically about his love of the arts. He also speaks fondly of his adopted hometown of Lisbon and about why happiness is the value closest to his heart.
Sue is a 50-year-old Tla’amin woman whose delicate frame belies her personal strength and great stature within her community. She has endured numerous personal losses and has responded to these tragedies with resilience and growth while, within her community, she is known for helping others finds strength by supporting those around her.
Vendors of The Curbside Chronicle documented their lives through a disposable camera photo essay with a magic hour theme for the Oklahoma street paper’s 55th issue, with some stunning results.
San Francisco’s Street Sheet is the oldest current member of the International Network of Street Papers, and this month is celebrating its 30th anniversary. INSP spoke to the paper’s current editor Quiver Watts about the publication and the city, and hear excerpts from Street Sheet’s anniversary issue about the experiences of vendors and former staff over the years.
Lothar is a Draussenseiter vendor with an extraordinary connection to the outside world: he loves to walk. And we’re not just talking about rambling or hiking here: after he set off on his first walk in July 2016, Lothar walked over 2,000 kilometres around Germany. His walks allow him to indulge in his love for nature, to let his mind wander and to discover new things. They have also taught him that less is more.
Health care is a hot topic in the United States and the debate about health care is likely to be a key issue in the run up to the presidential election in 2020, and differing opinion on how it should be reformed has already been core to the ongoing Democratic Primary. The prohibitively high costs of accessing health care, combined with the high number of people without medical insurance, means that many Americans cannot access the care that they urgently need. Two vendors talk to The Contributor about their experiences of the American health care system.
Previously, INSP brought stories from those living on the streets of Berkeley, published in the city’s street paper Street Spirit, that told tales of paranormal experiences, brushes with what could have been actual ghosts and, more eerily, the ghosts of memory. Here are two more pieces of writing, also by people who have experience of homelessness, which talk more about the truthful horrors that can occur while homeless.