Lee: usa

Homelessness is not a crime: Nashville street paper vendors on Tennessee anti-homelessness bill

Paul A. and Vicky B., who both sell the street paper The Contributor in Nashville, write about the “great injustice” that is the recent Tennessee Senate Bill 1610, which makes rough sleeping and homelessness camps on public land a criminal act. The bill has since passed into law without the signature of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.

Housing for the People: “Until I can make my dream happen…”

Brian Augustine, who sells Colorado street paper the Denver VOICE, writes for the latest in INSP’s Housing for the People series about how happenstance, and events outside his control, led to him losing the place he called home. Now, he counts the street paper as his home, and the people who come by his place of work as his family.

Housing for the People: How an affordable apartment changed my life

For Vicky Batcher, a regular face with and in Nashville street paper The Contributor, simply liking a Facebook page set her on a road toward a roof of her own over her head. For the latest in INSP’s ‘Housing for the People’ column, she writes about the rush of emotions that experiencing safety and security for the first time in years brought her.

Housing for the People: “We have to go beyond people just attaining housing”

For the latest instalment of INSP’s ‘Housing for the People’ column, Denver VOICE contributor Larmarques ‘Misha’ Smith writes about their journey from temporary to stable housing, their experience of shelters throughout the pandemic, and how ensuring housing is a right enjoyed by all should be done intersectionally with multiple goals in mind.

Reverend Barber and the revolutionary power of poor people

A Poor People’s March is descending on Washington, D.C. this summer. It has the potential to ignite a new progressive movement in the United States. INSP spoke to one of that movement’s leaders, pastor and activist the Reverend Dr. William Barber.

Housing for the People: “I was homeless on the road raising a child”

In this deeply personal piece for INSP’s ‘Housing for the People’ column, the writer tells a story of displacement and homelessness that spans continents in an attempt to escape the horror of domestic violence and to give her child the chance of a better life, even if it meant experiencing a period of transition living outside first.

Housing for the People: Addressing housing instability with equity in mind

Janiah Miller – an advocate experienced in providing support to political campaigns and offices, assisting in legislative and constituent support, and building intersectional coalitions within the community – writes for INSP’s latest ‘Housing for the People’ column about how the culminating moment of the American Dream – owning a home – is not equitably accessible to all.

Housing for the People: “Dear President Biden…”

Interweaving her own personal story with evidence of the current homelessness issue in Oregon, columnist Mandee Seeley drafts a heartfelt epistle to the US President about how to properly address the housing crisis. The letter is the latest instalment in INSP’s Housing for the People series.

KC Tenants – an activist group experiencing the harms of the affordable housing and eviction crisis first-hand offer – offers a model of possibility for fed up tenants worldwide

Kansas City, smack dab in the US Midwest in a Republican-led state, is often overlooked in the national conversation about the country’s housing crisis. KC Tenants – an organisation made up of members of Kansas City’s communities of renters – fights for cooperative housing, social housing, and a dignified response to the city’s housing, eviction, and homelessness crises. Ever since its formation in 2019, it’s made its demands for a better world known through carefully-researched policy proposals as well as direct actions matching the urgency of the issues they’re addressing. Its work offers a model of possibility for fed up tenants worldwide. INSP North America spoke to KC Tenants co-founder Diane Charity.

“It was an opportunity for rediscovery” – what street papers are in the words of those who sell them

Everyone who is a part of the global street paper network knows what a street paper is – that extends to the staff that put each publication together and those who buy them. But the people who truly know what a street paper is – what it means – are those who sell them. Here, a collection of street paper vendors – from Greece to Australia – tell us, in their own words, what a street paper is, personally to them.

The Housing Narrative Lab is helping tell the story of housing insecurity and homelessness in America

The Housing Narrative Lab is a new communications and narrative research hub dedicated to sharing the stories of people facing housing insecurity and the systems that drive people into homelessness. Here, its director Marisol Bello writes about what’s wrong with American policies and how they negatively impact women who remain the vast majority of single parents in the US, some of whom have to choose- during a pandemic – between leaving young children at home alone or risking their jobs.

“Street papers have a sort of superpower” – what street papers are in the words of those who sell them

Everyone who is a part of the global street paper network knows what a street paper is – that extends to the staff that put each publication together and those who buy them. But the people who truly know what a street paper is – what it means – are those who sell them. Here, a collection of street paper vendors – from Brazil to Finland – tell us, in their own words, what a street paper is, personally to them.

Housing for the People: “Like the air we breathe, housing is a basic human need”

Mandee Seeley spent three of her five years in Oregon without a home, living in the national forest with her husband and two children. For the latest instalment of INSP’s ‘Housing for the People’ column, she writes from her personal perspective about the basic requirement of all humans to have a home, and how the system should reflect that.

Housing for the People: Housing justice as a central voting issue

Janiah Miller – an advocate experienced in providing support to political campaigns and offices, assisting in legislative and constituent support, and building intersectional coalitions within the community – writes for INSP’s ‘Housing for the People’ column about how the affordable housing crisis remains at a historic nadir and how local organizations must continuously elevate affordable housing and homeownership as top priorities in their communities and bringing them to the attention of those with the power to affect change.

Housing for the People: “We got into our new apartment right before Christmas – it was the best gift!”

Mindy Woods and her son were forced to leave their dilapidated and mold infested home when it began to affect their health. Their experience thereafter is a story of lows – navigating the Kafkaesque public housing and benefits rigmarole, facing up to the “embarrassment” of having to tell her son’s teachers they were homeless – but also the high of finally getting a place to call home. A tireless housing and social justice advocate, Mindy shares her story here – as part of INSP’s new ‘Housing for the People’ column – to affect public perception and create policy change.

Real Change’s Debbie Nichols: “I am the oddball because I am out there!”

In 1999, Debbie Nichols held a prominent job and was an active member in her community, but an abusive relationship and a drug addiction set her down a troubling path. Luckily, Nichols found street paper Real Change, which she said made a positive impact in helping her find her way back to her normal routines.

WATCH: INSP and street paper staff discuss their work and its impact on panel hosted by Society of Professional Journalists

‘Empowering The Poor: Street Newspapers and their Global Impact’ was panel hosted by the Society of Journalists on Wednesday 18 August. Moderated by founder of Real Change and INSP board member Tim Harris, the discussion included members of staff from INSP and its associated member publications. Watch the panel again here.

Outgoing Street Roots editor Joanne Zuhl: “Seeing how far we’ve come is heartwarming. It’s a testament to the hundreds of vendors and volunteers, writers and readers who believed in our mission”

As she prepares to leave the Portland street paper after more than 18 years at the helm, Street Roots editor Joanne Zuhl talked to INSP about her lengthy stint leading one of the street paper network’s most established publications and where she leaves the paper after one of the most unpredictable years of her tenure.

Street Roots vendor Chris Drake: “Treat me like any other man”

Portland street paper vendor Chris Drake discusses misconceptions about trans people and what visibility means to him.

“Better for vendors, as well as for customers”: Washington DC’s Street Sense goes weekly

Despite the uncertainty caused by pandemic lockdowns, Street Sense has made progress and is now going weekly. Located in the US capital, Street Sense Media will start publishing street papers every week starting today (14 April). This increase in frequency is also predicted to attract more vendors and increase their weekly earnings. Testimonials from vendors and INSP show excitement and anticipation for this growth in the street paper.

“Nobody should go without the shot”: Dispatches from vaccinated street paper vendors

With Covid vaccines being rolled out differently across the world, that means marginalised and vulnerable communities in different parts of the world are receiving immunisation at different rates. But it does mean some good news: street paper vendors are beginning to receive the jab, and with the world opening up again, that’s more than welcome.

“Housing is a basic human need”: The US Government needs to address the housing crisis

Brook Fadley discusses the lack of safe and accessible housing infrastructure in her op-ed, the last in a series in collaboration with housing advocacy group Community Change. She writes that many people are vulnerable to homelessness due to the pandemic and the government needs to step up to solve it, urging the Biden Administration to pass the New Deal for Housing Justice.

Proper housing means having a home for your family

Idalia Rios discusses the definition of homelessness in this op-ed, the latest in a series in collaboration with housing advocacy group Community Change. To this immigrant mother, you can be homeless even if you have a roof over your head. She writes how proper housing, a foundation for a family, is a home. She urges the community to take action and to step into someone else’s shoes to provide more people with real homes.

“The government should be the helping hand because we are just starting off on our own”: US college students battle basic needs insecurity

Three in five college students in the United States faced problems like housing insecurity or hunger in 2020. Despite their effort to receive a higher education, many students are neglected by their institutions and the government in terms of basic needs. Strides are being made across the US by students and nonprofits to combat these issues.

Songs we love: Curbside Chronicle vendors shout out the tunes they hold close alongside top-tier musicians

Who doesn’t have a song that’s made a special impact on their life? The Curbside Chronicle reached out to musicians from across the US, as well as a few of their own street paper vendors, to weigh in on the tracks that have changed the way they look at the world.

Why centering lived experience is vital for the future of housing policy-making in the US

In the second of a series of columns about the Housing Playbook initiative to influence policy direction in the US around housing and homelessness by advocacy group Community Change, Zella Knight, an LA County housing commissioner, writes about how those with experience of the system are integral to changing it.

Grow your own way: Inside The Curbside Chronicle’s flower shop

Recently, the long gestating flower shop project of Oklahoma City street paper The Curbside Chronicle finally opened. Here, we take an inside look at the opening day of Curbside Flowers, in downtown Oklahoma City, which provides people transitioning out of homelessness a workplace for their blossoming talents — one bouquet at a time.

Triple Grand Slam winning tennis star Naomi Osaka: “The way I see it, I’m not half anything – I feel both Japanese and Haitian fully”

Tennis player Naomi Osaka rose to the summit of her sport by the age of 23. The three-time Grand Slam winner, who is Japanese-Haitian-American, drew particular attention last year when she wore masks emblazoned with the names of Black victims of police violence during the US Open, all while winning the tournament. In this wide-ranging interview during her preparations for the ongoing Australian Open, she spoke to INSP about her heritage, activism and using her platform for good.