Lee: seattle

Real Change turns 25: Q&A with Founding Director Tim Harris

INSP turns 25 this year, but so do a number of our street paper members. Real Change in Seattle is just one of them. To mark it, the paper’s reporter Ashley Archibald spoke to its founding director Tim Harris about the past, present and future of the street paper movement.

Reflections from the 2019 Global Street Paper Summit by INSP board member, and Real Change founding director, Tim Harris

After attending the 2019 Global Street Paper Summit, INSP board member, and Real Change founding director, Tim Harris offered some reflections on the state of the street paper movement and what we have to look forward to in the future.

Our vendors: Joseph Capozzi (Real Change, Seattle, USA)

Real Change vendor Joseph was delighted to find community, support and hope when he moved into the new shelter housed at Seattle’s King County Jail. The new shelter initially proved divisive, with some – including Real Change Founding Director Tim Harris – voicing concern about the optics of housing people experiencing homelessness in a jail. For Joseph, the shelter has been a much-needed sanctuary. He explains how staying at the shelter has changed his life for the better.

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.

#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.

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.

“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?”

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.

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.

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.

#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.

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’.

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.

‘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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

Shelly and Mellie: Seattle smilers scoop Real Change Vendors of the Year

Real Change News’ Vendor of the Year Awards were scooped by two popular characters committed to putting smiles on the face of their customers.

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.

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.

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.

Seattle’s homeless community under canvas

How can tent cities help the homeless population in Seattle? “What this is all about is survival,” says long-time resident Lantz Roland. “Get people out of the bushes, get people off the streets, get people safe and sheltered.”

#THISIsJournalism: Mike Fancher calls street papers a ‘catalyst for change’

Mike Fancher, former executive editor of The Seattle Times, called street papers a catalyst for change during his keynote speech at #INSP2015.

Eric Liu tells street papers “How to talk about power”

“You have incredible power in our society,” Eric Liu told a global audience of street paper delegates and advocates during an impassioned keynote speech at #INSP2015.

Exploring the Housing First model at Seattle’s 1811 Eastlake

Learn what happened when street paper delegates visited 1811 Eastlake, an innovative and somewhat controversial Housing First program running in Seattle.

INSP delegates meet residents of Seattle’s Tent City 3

Real Change board member and contributor Jim Douglas reflects on our delegate study visit to Seattle homeless encampment Tent City 3.

New approaches to addressing homelessness in Seattle

“The answer to homelessness isn’t rocket science—it’s a home,” executive director of Downtown Emergency Services, Bill Hobson, said during an #INSP2015 session which explored innovative solutions to decriminalizing homelessness in Seattle.