Real Change

Seattle, WA, United States
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Feeling the Love: A look at February’s street paper covers

Some LOVEly covers have caught our eye this month – here’s our February round-up of front pages.

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#VendorWeek 2019: “Selling the paper is often harder than it looks”

During this year’s #VendorWeek, Tim Harris, founding director of Seattle street paper Real Change, took part in their selling event. Paired with veteran vendor Michael, Tim found the experience challenging, but ultimately educational and rewarding, writing about it in his regular column for the paper.

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Seattle street paper Real Change has work highlighted in local media

Seattle street paper Real Change, which turns 25 this year, has put millions of dollars into the pockets of some of the city’s poorest residents — and has no intention of stopping any time soon. Spurred by its 25th anniversary, and its successful forays into solving the problems that an increasingly cashless society poses to street paper vendors, Sandi Doughton, a writer at The Seattle Times’ Pacific NW magazine, spent some time around Real Change’s staff and vendors.

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#VendorWeek 2019: Real Change captures Seattle public’s imagination with #WheresStone challenge

Seattle street paper Real Change celebrated #VendorWeek by putting on a Big Sell event on Wednesday. But there was a twist: Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard was selling street papers with vendor Darrell Wrenn somewhere in the city, but could you follow the clues to find them? The challenge caught the imagination of everyday Seattleites.

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From the INSP Archive: Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard talks about how he got involved in homeless advocacy

Last summer, legendary Seattle band Pearl Jam performed shows in their home city to raise awareness of the homelessness crisis. The homecoming was five years in the making, and it was the issue of homelessness that prompted it. At the time, the band’s guitarist Stone Gossard spoke to Darrell Wren, a vendor for Seattle street paper Real Change. INSP is revisiting the interview today after Gossard and Wren captured the attention of the Seattle public during #VendorWeek 2019 by participating in Real Change’s annual selling event.

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Hello 2019! A round-up of January’s street paper covers from around the world

2019 is well and truly underway, and the new year has brought with it an impressive array of street paper covers to cast the winter blues away!

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As the rest of the country gears up for Christmas, US street papers mark National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day

Since 1990, communities across the US, while shoppers frantically prepare for Christmas, meet on the first day of winter and longest night of the year to commemorate those who have died while homeless in the last year. This year, 150 such gatherings took place on what is known as National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day. Among them were those attended and organised by US-based street papers, accounts of which are collated here.

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October’s Offerings: A round-up of this month’s street paper covers

It may be Halloween, but we’ll try not to scare you off with this month’s eclectic round up of street paper covers from around the world.

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“I already have a real job”

Real Change vendor Jen Tibbits rebuts one of the most common criticisms of street paper sellers across our network: “Why don’t you get a real job?”

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Spending a day with a Real Change vendor

Glenn Walker has been all over the place, both in his life and as a Real Change vendor. He’s lived in Denver, New York and Chicago, but he’s lived in Seattle for years. As a Real Change vendor, he gets around, too: Issaquah, Bellevue and Bainbridge Island are all on his regular route. Hanna Brooks Olsen spent a day shadowing Glenn to find out about what it’s like to be a Real Change vendor.

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World Cup wonders and getting back to nature: a round up of June’s street paper covers

As we approach the halfway mark in 2018, take a look back at the covers on sale on the streets of the world this month.

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Our vendors: Norma Gastelum (Real Change, Seattle, USA)

Norma has been living in Seattle since 2010 and was introduced to Real Change by her current partner in late 2016. Here, she looks back on her life before moving to Seattle, praises the freedom that she has found by being a vendor and celebrates the resilience that has served her well since childhood.

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A Shower of April Covers: INSP’s latest front page round-up

April has showered us with a flow of fantastic front pages, and we’ve splattered the very best onto this month’s covers round-up!

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Our vendors: John Birgen (Real Change, Seattle, USA)

John has spent the last 40 years working as a handyman all over Washington state. He has been homeless since the age of 18. Here, he talks about his family background, the challenges that he currently faces and the importance of appreciating how lucky you are.

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The Covers of March: A round-up of this month’s front pages

Another month is coming to a close, meaning it’s time to reflect on the street paper covers that have been making waves amongst vendors and readers alike during March.

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February Feels: A round-up of street paper covers this month

With entries for the 2018 INSP Awards opening very soon, has February delivered us any potential winners in the Best Cover category?

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#VendorWeek 2018: Real Change rallies notable local figures to sell street papers with vendors

Today, North American street papers will join in with the #VendorWeek celebrations by hosting selling events, some for the first time. This #VendorWeek tradition is a chance for those unfamiliar with the street paper movement to understand better what street paper vendors do.

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Our vendors: Emmanuel Salter (Real Change, Seattle, USA)

Emmanuel Salter has travelled all over the USA, driven by his thirst for adventure. Now a Real Change vendor in Seattle, Emmanuel looks back on his life and reflects on the present, in which his is not homeless but ‘home-free’.

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Podcast: Media Voices speaks to INSP members about the street paper movement

Peter Houston of Flipping Pages Media interviews INSP members about the current challenges facing street papers.

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INSP Awards: 2017 Winners Announced!

Find out who took home the 12 coveted awards at the 2017 INSP Awards, held in Manchester, UK.

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INSP Awards: 2017 Best Photo Finalists Revealed

Our top five snaps have been chosen – we present to you our Best Photo finalists for 2017!

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Our vendors: Rose Gascon (Real Change, Seattle, USA)

Rose moved to the US from the Philippines and she has been through some big changes in her life. But working with Real Change has finally made her life change for the better.

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INSP Awards: The Best Photo Nominees for 2017 are here!

Our snap-happy street papers have offered up hundreds of impressive images this year, and we’ve got the top ten all developed and ready to go!

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‘Rapid rehousing’ scheme brings joy – and money worries – for Seattle vendor

After five years of homelessness, Real Change vendor Lisa Sawyer finally got somewhere to live with her boyfriend. Now it looks like her new home may be slipping away. 

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Our vendors: Rachel Reynolds (Real Change, Seattle, Washington, USA)

Rachel loves her home city of Seattle, but also feels a strong connection to Montana – she named her beloved Chihuahua-terrier puppy after a city there. When she’s not selling Real Change, or advocating for people with disabilities and service dogs, she likes to make balloon animals and even perform as a clown.

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Real Change leads rally against hate in exceptional year of uncertainty

Seattle street paper Real Change has made a passionate call-to-arms to its readers and supporters to join them in protesting against hate against the backdrop of Donald Trump’s first days as U.S. president.

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Homeless activist launches world’s newest street paper in Colorado Springs

“The idea came from being hungry – the desire came from wanting to fight.” Currently homeless in Colorado Springs, Raven Canon is a campaigner and the founder of the world’s newest street paper. We caught up with her just after she published the first edition of The Springs Echo.

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Our vendors: Mellie Kaufman (Real Change, Seattle, Washington, USA)

Selling the paper helps with the basics like bills and food, but also helps vendor Mellie Kaufman to feel better about herself and her life. “”Before I sold Real Change, I felt like I was nothing. Now, I feel better,” she says.

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“How will you reach out to people like me?” street papers respond to President Trump

International street paper staff and vendors responded with surprise and apprehension following the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the USA.

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Our vendors: Valerie Williams (Real Change, Seattle, USA)

Becoming homeless came as a shock to Valerie Williams. But thanks to the support of Real Change, she now has her own place and has recently worked as a paid intern with the street paper, helping her fellow vendors.

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October global street paper covers get scary

Between Halloween and Trump, there’s a frighteneing vibe on this month’s international street paper covers. Thank god for Street Cat Bob…

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Prophets of Rage to Bridget Jones – September street paper supporters

There’s support from big name stars featured on this month’s covers – but also stark reminders of why street papers are so necessary for homeless people.

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VIDEO: “Real Change means real community”

Real Change vendor Shelly Cohen stars in a new film by Facing Homelessness. He talks about what Seattle street paper Real Change has meant to him, and his love of bowling.

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Olympic fever gripped world’s street papers this August

August’s street paper covers have the Olympic spirit, featuring ‘cuddly lawnmowers’, a homeless wedding, Steven Spielberg, and a cheeky little bit of rickrolling.

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Success of unique cooperative newspaper proves “truth still sells” in Greece

How many journalists does it take to produce one of Greece’s most trusted and successful daily newspapers? The editor of Efimerida ton Syntakton (The Journalists’ Paper) explains how his unique cooperative of over 100 journalists is thriving in Greece.

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INSP Awards 2016 winners revealed in Athens

The winners of the INSP Awards 2016 were announced tonight in Athens during a glamorous celebration of excellence and innovation in street papers worldwide. Discover who took home the top awards.

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INSP Awards: finalists revealed for best cultural writing in street papers

With just over one week to go until our winners are revealed during the Global Street Paper Summit in Athens, meet our fantastic finalists for street paper cultural reporting.

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Campaigning and celebrating with April’s street paper covers

The mood in the network feels celebratory this April, with some big anniversaries and some big names. Street paper covers applaud some true heroes – including Luke Skywalker, Korean escapees, and our vendors.

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INSP Awards: best cultural writing from street papers 2015/16

Johnny Rotten vies with Taylor Swift, Pixar takes on a former prima ballerina, and roller derby fans echo Gloria Steinem’s feminism… it can only be the best of street paper cultural reporting!

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INSP Awards: best street paper reporting from 2015/16

A Papal audience, an incredible story of a family reunited & a Serbian street paper reaching out to refugees: just the beginning of our Best News Feature nominees.

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March’s covers reveal the power of illustration

From fierce illustrations to wild covers, experience dozens of the world’s best street paper artwork from the last month.

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Our vendors: Robert Heath (Real Change, Seattle)

Robert Heath sells Real Change in Seattle. Previously he served in Desert Storm and the second Iraq War. He suffers from PTSD and MS, yet he stays busy selling the street paper.

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Rock gods to proud vendors: February’s street paper covers are out of this world

From rock gods to proud vendors, February’s street paper covers featured lots of fascinating and inspiring people. Explore the world’s street papers here.

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Street paper convert starts documentary mission

A passionate street paper convert, explains how a meeting with a Real Change vendor, and volunteering at INSP’s Global Street Paper Summit in Seattle, has inspired him to undertake a creative journey.

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Street papers put £23.4 million in the pockets of world’s most disadvantaged

New figures reveal the impact of INSP street papers across the world. Statistics released for #VendorWeek show 23.5 million street papers were sold last year.

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Early birds from 10 countries snap up places at 2016 Global Street Paper Summit

Delegates from 10 countries are already registered to attend the international gathering of street papers in Athens – the only event of its kind in the world.

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Street papers have Christmas wrapped up with festive projects

From special editions and calendars to funky bespoke gift wrap, we discover how street papers around the world are helping vendors increase their Christmas sales, give thanks to their customers and to truly enjoy the festive season.

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Check out December’s festive street papers!

We’ve got Santas galore on this month’s covers! Plus lots of kitties, gingerbread houses, elves, snowmen… and glitter.

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Our vendors: Lavina Hillman (Real Change, Seattle)

“Real Change is the only no-questions-asked program. No discrimination,” says Lavina who sells the street paper Real Change in Seattle. Read more about her story here.

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Cardboard canvas

In 2014, American artist Willie Baronet drove from New York to Seattle buying the signs homeless people use to panhandle in what has become an ongoing art project. He spoke to INSP’s Seattle member Real Change about breaking down barriers and stereotypes with ‘We Are All Homeless’.

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Vendor talk: “Take off your shoes and come inside”

During the INSP Global Street Paper 2015 in Seattle, Henrik Søndergaard Pedersen, who sells Hus Forbi in Copenhagen, Denmark, met Sharon Jones, a vendor for Seattle street paper Real Change to discuss the challenges and rewards of selling street papers.

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How street papers produce big stories from small newsrooms

During #INSP2015 editors and reporters from Real Change and Hus Forbi led a discussion about how street papers can produce exceptional reporting with fewer resources.

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Penniless payments: street papers adapt to digital purchase trends

Find out how street papers around the world are exploring ways to utilize cashless payments to adapt to the growing consumer demand for digitization.

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“We are changing the world” Seattle welcomes #INSP2015

The city of Seattle welcomes street paper delegates from around the world to toast the start of INSPired Together: Global Street Paper Summit 2015.

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Real Change launches cashless payment app with Google

Seattle street paper Real Change has partnered with tech giant Google to launch an app that allows customers to pay for their paper digitally and have it delivered straight to their phones.

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Our vendors: Robert Smith – Real Change, Seattle, USA

Being homeless “makes you count your blessings for the little things, just to wash, wash your teeth, take a shower. When you’re homeless, these things are all taken away from you.”

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Real Change turns 20: Seattle Street Paper Celebrates

Real Change celebrated two decades in print yesterday with a fundraising breakfast that brought in more than $103K to support their work with homeless and low-income people. Started in 1994 by Timothy Harris, the paper […]