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.
Trump’s rallies and actions in general have caused havoc to those living on the streets of Washington DC, whether it’s setting police and national guard troops on peaceful protestors last summer, or inciting riots at a rally last week as the US Senate moved to validate the election of Joe Biden as the next President. Vendors reflect on the chaos caused.
Issues related to poverty and homelessness have long been pushed to the periphery of presidential elections. But with the housing crisis on course to be the most severe in history, they are of vital importance to a record number of Americans. The two candidates offer vastly different views of how to address homelessness in the United States. Trump’s record and statements show he is skeptical of government fiscal intervention and the housing-first model and supports a deregulatory approach, whereas Biden advocates for the federal government to play a much larger role through greater funding and rulemaking. Street Sense outlines the candidates’ platforms.
As near-constant Black Lives Matter protests have become a fixture near the White House, people experiencing homelessness in the area are finding themselves caught in the crossfire between demonstrators and law enforcement.
Black lives matter: Protest movement against racism, oppression and police brutality sweeps across America
Since the death of George Floyd, a young black man killed by a white police officer as his colleagues stood idly by, protests have sprung up across the US and other parts of the world calling for an end to systemic racial injustices and police brutality. American street papers were present at many of those protests.
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.
Days before Christmas, communities across the US joined together to memorialise those who had died while homeless that year. INSP North America director Israel Bayer summed up the tragedies that have beset countless homeless Americans, while a group of the country’s street papers collaborated on making sure these remembrances, and the people they were about, were noticed.
Last week, US President Donald Trump made comments about homelessness that garnered some bewildered reactions. Homelessness is an issue rarely spoken on by Trump. But a community of people who know a thing or two about homelessness in the US are street paper staff and vendors. A selection of them, from Portland’s Street Roots and Washington, D.C.’s Street Sense, had their say.
Writing poems since he was a teenager, Street Sense Media artist and vendor Franklin Sterling has developed a unique style based in medieval English and blending other languages to create something all his own.
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. Street Sense vendors in Washington DC talk about their song choices, which range from festive classics to T-Pain.
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.
U.S. campaigner Michael Stoops, who passed away this week, spent decades fighting for people experiencing homelessness. Street Sense pays tribute.
Humble social entrepreneur Kazi Mannan opens the door of his restaurant to the city’s homeless community, as a place to eat for free.
Hundreds gathered in Washington D.C.’s Franklin Square Park for a community event organised by former Street Sense vendor Don Gardner.
Washington D.C social entrepreneur Amr Arafa’s EmergencyBnB is more than just AirBnB with a twist. It’s offering hope to refugees and victims of domestic violence.
Street Sense vendor Eric Thomson-Bey recently left Washington D.C. for employment on a farm in Pennsylvania. He reflects on his new rural life.
In this uplifting and inspiring personal essay, Damon Smith explains exactly what it means to be a street paper vendor. He reveals how selling Street Sense in Washington D.C. helped him overcome the “mental torture” of homelessness.
“I felt the reality of poverty,” says Martin Walker of his upbringing in Southeast DC. His mother worked full-time but paying the bills for her five children was a constant struggle.