New publication to help area homelessWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A new publication that aims to help the area’s homeless is preparing its debut.
Toledo Streets, a local nonprofit publication, launched its first issue and vendor orientation Oct. 14 at The Black Cherry restaurant Downtown. Organizers say the publication is designed to help the homeless and poor have their voices heard while earning money.
“The benefits of street newspapers 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,” said Andy Freeze, executive director of North American Street Newspaper Association (NASNA).
“Street newspapers fill an important role in our communities as they work to provide valuable, useful information on issues of homelessness and poverty. They also provide opportunities of employment for the homeless,” Freeze said. “Toledo Streets will benefit Toledo by providing a voice to the homeless and poor and by breaking down stereotypes about homeless individuals.”
Freeze said 25 NASNA-associated street papers exist in the United States, including papers in Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati. Street newspapers are also located throughout the world with more than 105 street newspapers in 37 countries.
Amanda Moore, Toledo Streets director and managing editor, and a volunteer for Food for Thought and 1Matters, said she was searching for different ways to assist the homeless in Toledo and thought a street paper would be “a great idea.”
“I hope everyone on all levels embraces it; not just the paper, but the idea of it, and the people that are selling it. People get an opportunity to help make ends meet. This isn’t going to be someone’s sole source of income as far as being able to get a place to get off the streets, but it will help bridge the gap,” Moore said.
The papers can be purchased by vendors for 25 cents and then sold for a dollar donation, making each vendor a 75-cent profit per paper.
Those interested in qualifying as a vendor can go through a one-hour orientation, Moore said. The orientations take place every Wednesday at The Black Cherry. Moore said only badged vendors should be selling the publication.
“I’m not worried about fraud. Selling the paper won’t be a get-rich-quick scheme; it takes hard work, patience, persistence and politeness,” Moore said. “There will be the Vendor Code of Conduct sellers need to adhere to and there will be consequences should vendors violate it.”
The paper publishes monthly. The first issue features articles written by volunteers, Freeze and a formerly homeless gentleman.
As the paper grows, it will have more articles written by the local homeless.
Toledo Free Press fact checker and Glass City Jungle operator Lisa Renee Ward contributed an article about the Toledo mayoral candidates and their plans to address homelessness.
The organization will be located in The Black Cherry, 1420 Cherry St., on Wednesdays until it becomes large enough to have a volunteer there full time.
On the Web; visit www.toledostreets.com and click on links for more information.