An unexpected message on social media brought Jamar Washington back into contact with his birth mother and family in 2018. His mother, Raelene Johnson – a Denver Voice vendor – reluctantly gave him up for foster care when he was three. This is the story of how fate brought them back together and how they are reconnecting with each other after so many years apart.
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.
Larmarques Smith moved to Denver two years ago. Haunted by the death of his partner from an over-dose, Larmarques found it impossible to stay in Indiana, despite the fact that he had built a life for himself there. Living on the streets has been tough for him, as those around him have no knowledge of what he has been through. This is precisely what motivates Larmarques to reach out to others: he hopes to provide them with the sort of support that he himself is looking for.
With the 2018 Global Street Paper Summit fast approaching, we’re pausing for a moment to look back on the street paper covers that have had us jumping for joy during July.
To mark #VendorWeek 2018, US street paper Denver VOICE published a four-page spread completely dedicated to their vendors, as well as hosting a Big Sell event in the city. In the feature, vendors talk about their pitch, their daily routine, and we even here from readers showing their appreciation for their local vendor.
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.
With Christmas just around the corner, street papers around the world have been getting into the Yuletide spirit and emblazoning their front covers with all things festive!
As 2017 draws to a close, we asked vendors across the global street paper network to look back on the highs and lows of their year. Dwayne, a Denver Voice vendor, has spent 2017 getting his things in order with the hope of moving off the streets.
The 2017 Global Street Paper Summit allowed us to get up close and personal with August’s covers – take a look at our highlights from the network.
Cynthia, a talented and passionate dancer, moved to Denver to help out her brother who was experiencing homeless. By getting involved with selling street papers, she has found a bigger family than she could ever have expected.
The final set of nominees are here – have a look to see who’s made the top ten in the Best Vendor Contribution category.
Nathanial is an entrepreneur, inventor and artist, but what truly defines him is his talent for making friends. His customers feel they can open up to him, returning time and again to talk – and buy the paper.
Dave sells Big Issue North in Altrincham, near Manchester. Raelene sells the Denver Voice in Boulder, Colorado in the US. In a Skype conversation to mark #VendorWeek, they compared notes about their lives, interests and what it’s like to be a street paper vendor on either side of the Atlantic.
Vendors Mark and Ann shared their first ever Skype chat in honour of #VendorWeek and found out they have more in common than they first expected.
“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.
For Armand Casazza, selling Denver Voice was a chance to start anew. The job helps him face the challenges of a troubled past with an ever-present grin.
The first issue of Denver Voice was put together on a single typewriter. Now it’s celebrating 20 years, and offering employment to more than 4000 people.
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.
Volunteers for U.S. street paper Denver Voice took to the streets to offer people who are sleeping rough in the city the chance to join their team of vendors.
August’s street paper covers have the Olympic spirit, featuring ‘cuddly lawnmowers’, a homeless wedding, Steven Spielberg, and a cheeky little bit of rickrolling.
Denver Voice vendor Gary Davis is a prime example of turning mistakes into stepping stones on the path to success. Gary has battled alcohol addiction, a problem which has led to him to homelessness more than once – but the Denver Voice helps him stay sober.
Meeting music legends Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley might have left your average American teenager starstruck. But not Denver VOICE vendor Penny! She recalls jamming with some of the country’s most iconic musicians when she was a teen in Nashville, and explains how she later became homeless in Denver, Colorado.
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.
Street paper vendors face multiple barriers to having to their voice heard, but INSP street papers are a powerful platform. These are some of the best vendor contributions in the last year.
Featuring vendors’ makeshift homes, tender moments and even ‘knights of the country road’, the nominees for Best Photograph at the INSP Awards show the ability of street papers to offer their readers a different point of view.
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.