Teresa Ng has been a Megaphone vendor for around eight years and usually sells the magazine from her pitch near East Hastings and Nanaimo Streets in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. She has kept herself busy during the pandemic but has been distressed by the racial abuse she has suffered as a result of her ethnicity. She is looking forward to returning to her work as a vendor. Dennis Chernyk has been a vendor for nearly two years and his pitch is near West Hastings and Granville Streets. In addition to his work with the street paper, Dennis enjoys writing, drawing, gardening, cooking, and spending time with his black short-haired cat Co-co. But, as Dennis tells us, not everyone is as enamoured with cats as he is.
Will, a Big Issue North vendor in Doncaster, writes lyrically about how a customer and now friend of his, photographer Andy Lynch, was there for him at his lowest ebb.
News of the two decade street paper veteran Patricia Merkin’s death has been met with sadness across the street paper network. The founder, director and editor of Argentinian street paper Hecho en Bs. As. was much loved and respected by peers all over the world for her tireless and passionate work for the vulnerable and marginalised.
Brazil has endured one of the worst outbreaks of COVID-19 of any country, with over 2 million cases and rising. The situation has been worsened by political turmoil, including constant change of the nation’s top health official and a leader, in Jair Bolsonaro, who downplays the dangers of the pandemic. Alongside multiple social, humanitarian and religious organisations, Aurora da Rua, a street paper based in the Brazilian city of Salvador, is engaging in a campaign that utilises the power of silence to draw attention to the disaster currently unfolding.
The lives of millions of people around the world were transformed when countries shut down in an attempt to halt the spread of coronavirus. For Big Issue vendor Mark, who is based in Adelaide, Australia, lockdown was spent fending off boredom, watching TV, talking to friends and family on the phone and dealing with… pigeons.
King County, home to Seattle’s Real Change, was a key area in the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, some normality is returning for its street paper vendors. Here are some of their stories.
The UK was a little behind the rest of Europe in seeing street paper vendors return to their pitches. Equipped with full PPE and contactless payment systems, those in northern England selling Big Issue North were both nervous and excited.
In this article, The Contributor catches up with several of its street paper vendors to find out how their lives and sales have been affected since COVID-19 hit. Although The Contributor has been able to continue printing physical copies of the paper during the pandemic, its vendors have had to adapt in order to maintain both their sales and their relationships with customers in a way that is safe for everyone.
After the coronavirus lockdown eased, Hinz&Kunzt vendors were looking forward to the restart, but also feeling slightly uneasy. They’ll need help – from Hinz&Kunzt, but also from the people working in the shops outside which they have their pitches. The Hamburg street paper accompanied vendor Thomas to his pitch.
Two Surprise vendors – Sandra and Ghide – speak about how the coronavirus lockdown has affected their way of life. For both, not being able to sell the magazine has been a disruption. But it also picks at other parts – the ability to stay to routine, and the manageability of employing coping mechanisms for health issues that are difficult to deal with at the best of times. Since these interviews, Surprise vendors, like many street papers in Europe, have gradually begun to return to work.
As all large gatherings, especially sporting events, fell victim to coronavirus lockdown restrictions, this year’s Homeless World Cup, due to take place in Finnish city Tampere, was cancelled. In the wake of the pandemic, organisers of the tournament, which brings together street soccer teams from across the globe, moved everything online in an effort to continue to use the power of sport for good. The result is this weekend’s virtual Homeless World Cup Day.