Street papers provide global update on how the world’s homeless population is facing the coronavirus
The Big Issue took stock of how coronavirus is affecting the world’s homeless community, providing another update on just how severely the spread of the virus is impacting street papers and the people for which they provide an income.
UK street papers The Big Issue and Big Issue North will, for the first time, be sold in select shops and supermarkets across the country in response to the effects of the crisis caused by the outbreak of COVID-19. Vendors of both magazines had been advised to no longer sell on the streets after the UK government enforced lockdown measures in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Big Issue vendors write to their 25-year-old selves: “Don’t be too hard on yourself, it will help you understand people and their mistakes”
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 four Big Issue vendors in the UK – apt as the format is a twist on the popular ‘Letter to My Younger Self’ series from The Big Issue.
The street paper network was represented at a recent gathering of the best in the magazine and publishing industry by INSP, Nikoleta Kosovac of Liceulice and Big Issue editor Paul McNamee. Spreading the word of the work of street papers, Kosovac and McNamee were involved in a panel, joined by individuals from other extremely influential publications, talking about how magazines can make change in the world.
Remus has previous for selling street papers. In fact, he’s a bit of a veteran after a six-year stint as a vendor in Amsterdam. Now, he is selling The Big Issue in London, and using the skills he has learned to hone his craft in this new environment. He will also get the chance to utilise The Big Issue’s new contactless payments scheme.
After news of his death broke early last week, tributes began to pour in for popular Big Issue vendor Paul Kelly. Today at his pitch, outside Sainsbury’s supermarket on the city’s main shopping street Buchanan Street, where flowers, messages and mementos had sprung up in his absence, a crowd of people joined friends, colleagues, and others who had been touched by his character and presence, for a vigil in his memory.
The Big Issue has been part of Dodge Dawson’s life for many years and he’s always found his way back to the magazine. He credits the magazine with helping him to increase his confidence and to learn new skills. After being helped by so many people in his life, Dodge now volunteers with Street Vets and the NHS in addition to working as a Big Issue vendor. He wants to give something back in return for all of the help that he’s received from others.
The Big Issue partners with digital bank Monzo to create a new revenue stream for vendors: every reader has the opportunity to resell the magazine.