Lee: north-america

How San Francisco’s poor and homeless people are surviving during the coronavirus pandemic

Quiver Watts, editor of San Francisco’s Street Sheet, writes that the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak not only poses a greater risk to the city’s population living in poverty, but argues that they will be made “a convenient scapegoat to take attention off the real failures in the city’s emergency response”.

Drug and alcohol recovery in a time of isolation

As recovery support groups across the US cancel and move online due to COVID-19 measures, an increase in relapses could compound demands on health care providers.

INSP North America director Israel Bayer: “For those on the front lines of homelessness, Covid-19 represents a reality that people already live with every single day”

Israel Bayer, director of INSP North America, provides context for why the official response to the coronavirus outbreak in the region is failing those who are homeless and living in poverty, and writes about why systemic injustices mean that, amidst this health crisis, that community is being left behind.

Street survival in Portland in the age of coronavirus

Street Roots executive director Kaia Sand sends a dispatch from Oregon after visiting a small homeless camp housing a handful of the Portland street paper’s vendors who have become proactive about safeguarding themselves and staying healthy as the coronavirus panic sweeps the Pacific Northwest United States.

As coronavirus outbreak worsens, street papers and their staff respond

With coronavirus cases across the world now at well over 100,000, Italy is in lockdown and the US west coast is bearing the brunt of Covid-19’s appearance in America. INSP spoke again with street paper staff about the effect it is having on their organisations and vendors, with particular attention given to how staff are assisting vendors to stay safe and healthy.

Life on the Streets: The full moon

In history and in pop culture, the full moon continually sparks feelings of fear, curiosity, and excitement. In the latest addition to ‘Life on the Streets’, the Street Roots series that tackles issues people facing homelessness experience, vendors speak on their own encounters with the ever-mysterious full moon.

Vendor City Guide: Washington DC

The Big Issue has been reaching out to vendors across the street paper network to get the inside scoop on the cities they know best. This instalment features Street Sense vendor Wendell talking about Washington DC in the US.

Life on the Streets: Public transit

Portland’s Street Roots has a periodic column about the parts of homelessness most people don’t talk about. Some vendors say they’ve seen public transport inspectors profiling homeless people. Here they talk about their experiences.

StreetWise vendors give their hot takes on the year’s Oscar-nominated films

According to Chicago street paper StreetWise, one of its goals is to be entertaining while highlighting issues affecting its vendors and giving them a voice. Reviewing Oscar-nominated films has become an annual opportunity to give them a chance to tell their own story in a unique way. This year, a cast of 17 vendors weigh in on some of the films up for honours at the 92nd Academy Awards.

L’Itinéraire editor pays tribute to vendor who died after years of sleeping rough

#VendorWeek is a time to celebrate vendors but, such is the nature of their lives, sometimes tragedy strikes, and it is good to remember that, and the people that tragedy touches, too. Earlier this year, Montréal-based paper L’Itinéraire lost one of their vendors. Stéphane Avard was a bright and loving person worn thin by years of homelessness, and his story speaks to the relationship between sleeping rough and mental illness. The magazine’s editor wrote a touching tribute.

Two Washington DC vendors on a big year to come in American politics

2020 will be a momentous year in US politics. Will Trump evade impeachment to be re-elected? Will the Democrats find a big enough character to run against him? To measure the pulse in the US capital, two Street Sense vendors from Washington DC, with very different opinions, give their take on the state of the nation.

#VendorWeek 2020: Seattle street paper Real Change challenges local celebrities to try being vendors for a day

Real Change celebrate #VendorWeek with their third annual Day of Heroes, a chance for local celebrities to partner with Real Change vendors to try for themselves to sell the Seattle papers.

#VendorWeek 2020: Toledo Streets names its Vendor of the Year

There is surely no more apt a time to announce your Vendor of the Year than to coincide with #VendorWeek. That’s what Ohio-based paper Toledo Streets have done. Its vendor Shaun “Rooster” Tinch exhibits all the qualities that the street paper hopes to inspire, says its vendor manager Claire McKenna.

Our vendors: Derrick Hayes (Street Spirit, Oakland, USA)

Some residents of Downtown Oakland might recognise Derrick Hayes from the mural of him that adorns the building at 14th and Franklin; others might know him as the familiar face that sells Street Spirit from his various pitches in the area. He is a man who radiates friendliness, treasures the community around him and who talks candidly and emotionally about the journey that has brought him to the present moment.

Life on the Streets: Fear goes both ways

Portland’s Street Roots has a periodic column about the parts of homelessness most people don’t talk about. That homeless people are dangerous is a clear misconception, vendors say. And for some on the streets, it’s housed people who are feared.

Our vendors: Dwd and Kephirah (Street Roots, Portland, USA)

Dwd sells Street Roots from a pitch shared with other vendors near the Starbucks at Northwest Couch Street and 11th Avenue in Portland with the help of his trusty canine friend Kephirah. Dwd is enjoying his work as a Street Roots vendor and is learning about photojournalism with the organisation’s help. He hopes to engage with the public about the great work that the paper is doing to support vendors as they work together with the community.

There are literally thousands of people dying homeless on the streets of America

Days before Christmas, communities across the US joined together to memorialise those who had died while homeless that year. INSP North America director Israel Bayer summed up the tragedies that have beset countless homeless Americans, while a group of the country’s street papers collaborated on making sure these remembrances, and the people they were about, were noticed.

Our vendors: Julie B. (The Contributor, Nashville, USA)

Julie B. has made a name for herself in the Contributor office for being determined and resilient. Here, she reflects on her Native American heritage, talks about the hard work being done by street paper vendors and discusses what life is like with a brain cancer diagnosis.

Life on the streets: Foot health, a never-ending struggle

Portland’s Street Roots has a periodic column about the parts of homelessness most people don’t talk about. When you’re on your feet all day, wearing tatty, worn out and often sodden shoes, and then sharing space with groups of people in shelters that aren’t exactly kept in the best state, it’s no wonder people on the street struggle with maintaining healthy feet. Street Roots spoke to vendors about this often overlooked problem.

#VendorLetters: Street Roots vendors are philosophical about when they were 25

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Today’s instalment features Street Roots vendors Nettie and Mark.

StreetWise vendors give their 25-year-old selves a pep talk for INSP’s #VendorLetters series

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Today, we hear from three StreetWise vendors.

US street papers collaborate with non-profit Law@theMargins on series centring voices from the homeless community

Four US street papers have collaborated on ‘The Right to a Home’ series with non-profit media organisation Law@theMargins and its Community Based News Room project. The stories produced amplify voices from within the homeless community, exploring how homelessness is being addressed at a local level across the country.

#VendorLetters: Four diverse Real Change vendors write to their 25-year-old selves

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. In this instalment, four Real Change vendors write about life at 25.

One Step Away #VendorLetters in their own handwriting

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. This instalment in the series features One Step Away vendors, three of which submitted their letters in their handwritten form.

L’Itinéraire vendor Maxime to his 25-year-old self: “You are empathetic because you’ve been there and back”

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Today, L’Itinéraire vendor Maxime writes words of encouragement to his younger self.

Life on the streets: Growing old

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.

Our vendors: Edward Johnson (One Step Away, Philadelphia, USA)

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.

Magic Hour: Curbside Chronicle vendors document golden moments through disposables

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.