In the most recent count of the homeless community in Multnomah County, Oregon, 1,355 adult women were identified as homeless, making up 36 per cent of the total homeless population, a 16 per cent rise from the previous survey. Street Roots spoke to five of its vendors about what women living on the streets experience.
Jackie Turner is an artist and Street Sense Media vendor whose experience of homelessness has changed her worldview. She is acutely aware of the fact that homelessness happens for a range of reasons and that being homeless can be a depressing and hopeless experience. For Jackie, learning to love herself and appreciating the beauty around her has helped her to feel a powerful sense of connection to the world.
This year we asked vendors: if you could give a song as a present this Christmas, what would you choose? The result was the INSP Vendor Playlist, which is now available for your listening pleasure. A bunch of StreetWise vendors in Chicago explained in depth about their contributions.
This year we asked vendors: if you could give a song as a present this Christmas, what would you choose? The result was the INSP Vendor Playlist, which is now available for your listening pleasure. Street Sense vendors in Washington DC talk about their song choices, which range from festive classics to T-Pain.
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.
This year we asked vendors: if you could give a song as a present this Christmas, what would you choose? The result was the INSP Vendor Playlist, which is now available for your listening pleasure. Street Roots vendors in Portland, Oregon, run through their choices.
This year we asked vendors: if you could give a song as a present this Christmas, what would you choose? The result was the INSP Vendor Playlist, which is now available for your listening pleasure. One Step Away vendors in Philadelphia are like a microcosm of the entire street paper network – they have diverse musical tastes.
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.
The editors of The Curbside Chronicle make room in every issue to share personal stories from Curbside vendors, as their goal to document the challenges of homelessness. Homelessness can be an extremely difficult path and going it alone is never easy, which is why readers might notice that some of the magazine’s vendors have pets. In a series of conversations with Curbside vendors, we find out more about the furballs who have wagged their way into vendors hearts and become an integral part of the Curbside community.
Recently, two street papers in different parts of the world published similar stories celebrating organisations that give free haircuts to homeless people. Dortmund-based magazine bodo told the story of the Barber’s Angels, a group of professional hairdressers from all over the North Rhine-Westphalia region who had come to Bochum to dish out complimentary styling. Across the Atlantic, Nashville’s The Contributor described a day of business for the Nashville Street Barbers.
Chon Gotti, a vendor and salesman, discusses how he found himself without housing and how he moved beyond that point. A former officer, an advocate and parent, Gotti sees life as a matter of pride, confidence and strength. Along with discussing his business strategies, Gotti works to be a reminder that the homeless are not a stereotype, but people just like anyone else.
Street Roots vendor Gail talks about her upbringing in New York, moving to Portland with her daughter and using selling the street paper to combat social isolation.
Randolph B. has found security through his work selling The Contributor. He knows that he will always be able to sell the magazine, regardless of his work situation, and that he has the support of customers with whom he was forged lasting friendships. Despite having recently taken on paid work with Rock City Mechanical, Randolph still sells The Contributor in the evenings and at the weekend. Here, he speaks of his love for his customers and for his adopted hometown, Nashville.
This week, the 2018 INSP Global Street Paper Summit has been held in Glasgow, giving street paper staff from countries throughout the network the opportunity to discuss the issues affecting their vendors in our modern world. According to recent news reports in the US state of Portland, 52 per cent of all arrests last year in the Portland area were made against people on the streets, and 86 per cent of those were for non-violent violations. The city’s street paper, Street Roots, surveyed its vendor about their first-hand experience with law enforcement.
Rhonda, a vendor for Oklahoma City street paper The Curbside Chronicle, speaks candidly here about her childhood, upbringing, experiences of abuse, marriage and fighting her way back to housing.
Lonnie Baker is a Groundcover News vendor in Ann Arbor who is feeling positive about the future. Here, he talks about his journey from homelessness to self-sufficiency and the lessons that he has learned along the way.
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.
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.
V.W. found StreetWise after attending a homeless luncheon in 2010, during which she learned about the magazine and met other vendors. She has now been selling StreetWise for nearly three years. Here, she talks about her life as a vendor and about the sense of hope that she has regained thanks to her work.
American street paper The Contributor has been going for over ten years as a traditional news print publication. But, last week, the Nashville, Tennessee publication reinvented itself with a sleek new magazine format and updated design.
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.
Tina first arrived in Portland two and a half years ago and she now sells Street Roots from her pitch outside Target in Downtown Portland. Here, she reflects on her childhood struggle to reconcile her outer gender with her inner self, how welcoming Portland has been for her as a trans woman and the rich feeling of hope that her mother endowed her with.
Curbside Chronicle vendor Steve talks in depth about his childhood, growing up, his experiences of homeless and what it is like to work as a street paper vendor in Oklahoma City.
The 90th Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, takes place this Sunday, so Chicago’s StreetWise asked its vendors to view a handful of the Academy-nominated films and share their thoughts. It’s a hotly contested year, with quality filmmaking running throughout the nominations, as well as some big surprises and a welcome turn towards greater diversity. (Be warned, there are SPOILERS ahead).
To celebrate #VendorWeek 2018, The Big Issue Australia took an in depth look at the ways street papers around the world are creating extra employment opportunities for the people who need them most. And what better way to learn about them than from the people who are employed by and benefit from them. Social enterprises featured in the article come from these INSP members: The Big Issue Australia, =Oslo, The Curbside Chronicle, Shedia and L’Itinéraire.
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.