Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nashville Homeless Paper

Nashville has a bonified homeless paper thanks to the hard work of many volunteers! The first volume of this project has just been issued and is available at the Watkins College of Art and Design Library.

The name of the paper:

The Contributor: Diverse perspectives on homelessness. Genuine opportunities for advancement.

Here is their press release...

First Issue of The Contributor Hitting the Streets
Newspaper designed to provide perspectives on homelessness

Nashville, TN – On Wednesday, November 14th, a new and original newspaper arrives on the streets of downtown Nashville. The paper was created to assist the public in understanding the challenges and difficulties associated with homelessness for everyone while providing employment opportunities for homeless individuals.

The Contributor will provide diverse perspectives on the condition of homelessness while also highlighting the contributions of homeless and formerly homeless individuals.

“Homelessness in Nashville is an issue that is looked at in many diverse ways,” said Executive Director Tasha French. “We will be working directly with homeless and formerly homeless people to create a forum for all these perspectives.”

All of the vendors selling The Contributor are either homeless or formerly homeless.

They will start out with a number of free papers, selling each for $1. After generating some income, each vendor can come back and purchase additional issues for just 25¢ per issue. The profits of the sale of the paper will be directly to the vendor.

In addition, one key goal of The Contributor is to have at least 50% of the content in each issue be from homeless and formerly homeless individuals.

“We want to give our vendors an opportunity to earn an income, eliminate stereotypes and share their stories as homeless men and women,” said Director of Vending Steve Samra. “Instead of panhandling, our vendors have a product they can provide, and hopefully this paper can initiate a new and healthy dialogue between people across the socioeconomic spectrum.”

The first batch of papers will be distributed to vendors at 2pm at the Downtown Presbyterian Church at 5th and Church and will be sold at major street corners in the downtown area.

For more information about the publication, or to offer writing submissions, please contact Executive Director Tasha French at (615) 598-0061 or online at thecontributorstaff@gmail.com.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Thought I'd provide an update about The Contributor here, hope you don't mind.

We are now working on our 5th issue and are distributing approximately 6,000 papers monthly through 12 full time and 8 part-time vendors.

We've had one run in with law enforcement when a vendor was cited for soliciting business and blocking a roadway; the ticket was dismissed by the local DA when it was learned that our vendor had undergone training and was clearly engaged in selling a legitimate newspaper.

Content and submissions continue to be topnotch, with authors as diverse as Father Charles Strobel and lee Stringer contributing.

We hope you will pick up a copy of your own Contributor soon and check us out for yourselves, we know you won't be disappointed at the caliber and objectivity of the writing.

Thanks for supporting us!