Lee: ourvendors

Two Megaphone vendors on very different pandemic experiences

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.

Paused by a pandemic: A STREETZine vendor’s story

Vietnam veteran and STREETZine vendor Gary Keeton recalls his experiences of being forced to halt selling the Dallas street paper due to the COVID-19 outbreak and how his association with the magazine has dramatically improved his life.

“He’s in my phone as ‘God sent’”: Big Issue North vendor’s life-saving friendship with a customer

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.

Me, myself and isolation: Big Issue Australia vendor Mark’s lockdown diary

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.

Real Change vendors were caught at the outset of the pandemic. Now they’re back

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.

Stand and deliver: Big Issue North vendors gradually return to the streets

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.

Tales from quarantine from Nashville street paper vendors

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.

Hinz&Kunzt vendor Thomas on the joy of returning to his pitch

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.

Surprise vendors on life during the coronavirus crisis

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.

“I see myself as an astronaut far above the earth” – Hinz&Kunzt vendors on how COVID-19 has changed their lives

During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Hamburg-based street paper Hinz&Kunzt asked its vendors how severely they have been impacted by its effects.

Paws everything! The pets keeping Curbside vendors company in lockdown

Now that the world has stopped spinning as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s a great time to take a moment to meet a few un-fur-gettable vendor pets and hear about their amazing impact. Pets are a huge part of Curbside Chronicle vendors’ lives and they actively brighten even their most difficult days. We hope you’re also finding comfort in your furry friends as you practice social distancing!

How StreetWise vendors are coping during the coronavirus outbreak

We check in with vendors at Chicago-based street paper StreetWise as coronavirus has made it impossible for most of them to sell the magazine on the streets.

US street paper vendors on being denied voting rights as former felons when the democratic process is more important than ever

Coronavirus has even upended democracy. In a recent Wisconsin Democratic Primary vote, very little accommodation was made to ensure people could get out to vote, and do so safely. It’s a worry ahead of an important Presidential election set for later this year. If the current circumstances continue, the situation may end up actively stopping people from voting. But the US already has all sorts of different restrictions hampering the ability of its citizens to vote. Two Contributor vendors explain how their past felony charges bar them from exercising the franchise.

Suddenly a Ghost Town

From her pitch in Melbourne, The Big Issue Australia’s Mariann B watches the city become deserted, and the streets fall silent as coronavirus forces everyone into lockdown.

Two Big Issue vendors on how the UK’s COVID-19 measures will affect them

With The Big Issue no longer able to have its vendors sell the magazine on the street, the great majority have seen their usual way of earning an income vanish overnight. Here, they describe how the coronavirus lockdown is going to affect them.

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.

Coronavirus: What does self-isolation look like if you sleep rough?

As the impact of the coronavirus spreads further around the world, guidance has been put in place for how to prevent it spreading and what to do if you suspect you have contracted it. However, rough sleepers cannot safeguard themselves in the same ways the general public can. The Big Issue spoke to homeless shelters and other front-line service providers to find out what plans they have in place.

Our vendors: Thi Nhin (Apropos, Salzburg, Austria)

Thi Nhin Nguyen arrived in Germany from Vietnam in 1995 and later moved to Salzburg, Austria, where she works as an Apropos vendor. She has built a life for herself in Salzburg and is happy in her work as a vendor, as it enables her to earn an income and to interact with her customers. Her life is one filled with hard work, caring for others and song.

“I will miss him”: As Nigerian street paper vendor prepares to leave Austria, he leaves behind his adopted grandmother

His name is Somadina Ifesinachi Okoye, but everyone calls him Kenneth. When he came to Austria in 2015 and began working as a vendor for the street paper marie, Kenneth quickly befriended Elsbeth Gaisbauer, who became like an adopted grandmother to him. Now, Kenneth is preparing to return to his home country of Nigeria, leaving behind Elsbeth, now 89. marie met the two for one last interview together.

Our vendors: Rikke and Lukas (=Oslo, Oslo, Norway)

You never see Rikke without Lukas. Rikke, an =Oslo vendor, is always in the company of her beloved husky, who is her constant companion. Rikke credits Lukas with helping her to navigate the most difficult challenges that she has faced. Now that Rikke has overcome her addiction to heroin, the pair are making the most of the joys that life can offer.

How the coronavirus outbreak is affecting street paper vendors

Coronavirus – or Covid-19 – has spread to multiple countries with street paper representatives, including Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Italy. INSP is gathering information about how measures by governments and the medical community, and the reaction of the general public, are affecting street paper vendors in those locations.

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: Bangkok

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 Big Issue Australia vendor Pat talking about Bangkok in Thailand, her home country. She sells the street paper in Perth, Western Australia.

Our vendors: Mr. K (The Big Issue Japan, Osaka, Japan)

Mr K. sells The Big Issue Japan from his pitch at Takatsuki station in Osaka and has been working as a vendor for three years. He credits his work with awakening his increased interest in the lives of others and giving back to the community. His dream is to return to his work as a chef and to open a restaurant that helps those in need. In the meantime, the happiness that he feels when he sells a copy of the magazine keeps him going.

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.

#VendorWeek 2020: Sharing space with Big Issue vendors

INSP recently moved office, and now shares a space with The Big Issue. During #VendorWeek, we chatted to Anabel – who has been selling The Big Issue only as long as INSP has been office neighbours with the Glasgow-based street paper – about getting involved and what the magazine means for her.

Our vendors: Jela (Surprise, Zurich, Switzerland)

68-year-old Jela Veraguth sells Surprise at Limmatplatz in the Swiss city of Zurich. She talks about creating a home in the country after having to flee Serbia, and the health issues her family has had to endure. Jela has been selling Surprise for 20 years.

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.