Saturday, January 2, 2010

Homeless girl tells her story in new street newspaper

The Philadelphia Enquirer has a story about a thirteen year old girl who kept the fact she lived in a homeless shelter a secret-- until she was asked to write her story for a new street newspaper, One Step Away.  Then she was able to have the kind of opportunity for personal empowerment and political growth that we would wish for every homeless kid and adult.  You can read her story here.

St. Petersburg, Florida has a new street paper, also, the St. Petersburg Homeless Image.  The blog Pushing Rope covers the story.

What's a street newspaper?  According to the North American Street Newspaper Association:

A street newspaper is a newspaper that primarily addresses issues related to poverty and homelessness and is distributed by poor or homeless vendors. Vendors sell the newspaper for a set price, usually $1, and have to pay the organization a fraction of the price (20% to 40%) for each paper up front. The self-employed vendor sells the papers on the street and keeps the money he or she makes. For many people, this is the opportunity they need to get back on their feet and into permanent housing.
The benefits of street papers go far beyond economic opportunity. For the vendor, they offer a positive experience of self-help that breaks through the isolation that many homeless people experience. They offer the public a means to reach out with their dollar to help a homeless person directly and, over time, form a caring relationship.

Most street newspapers also provide homeless and/or those living on the margins of society the opportunities for expression by publishing their articles, letters and artwork. These publications build a bridge between the very poor and the wider public by helping people to understand the issues and the personal stories of those on the lowest rung of the economic ladder.

For a look at street newspapers around the world, check out Homeless Street Newspapers.

Photo from debcha's photostream at Flickr.

1 comment:

MoonRaven said...

I read that story on the teenager from Philadelphia. That was inspiring. I do try to buy our local paper, Spare Change, from vendors whenever I see them.