New Street Chronicle is Available in Cleveland

The new Street Chronicle was published today.  Angelo Anderson at the NEOCH Annual Meeting in March decided that the Board and the vendors should write something about Brian Davis for the new paper.  So the paper has many stories about the long time editor of the Homeless Grapevine/Street Chronicle.  I actually started as a volunteer with the paper before I had a job at NEOCH.  For one year, I edited the paper and delivered it to vendors when the agency was unsure of its future.  The only thing we were doing in late 1994 was publishing the newspaper and selling it to vendors for 10 cents each.  We had many vendors until Mayor White sent his police out to harass our vendors.  We sued the City and spent the next three years in court. This hurt our vendors and we also saw a noticeable decrease in the pedestrian population.

Nearly every vendor wrote stories about their interactions with me.  Staff also wrote articles and a number of former staff sent in remembrances to NEOCH.  Two long time board members put down a few words and we featured a story about Michael Stoops that I wrote.  If I annoyed you over the years, you might want to skip buying the paper.  It will be overwhelming to those who were not big fans of my advocacy and they will want to use the paper as the lining of a cat's litter box.  County Office of Homeless Services staff, Mayor Michael White, and many of the homeless service provider will want to avoid purchasing the paper at the West Side Market or downtown.  There are no refunds for those who have exploited, antagonized or harmed homeless people and were criticized by me.  The paper is sold by vendors and they keep all the profits, but they certainly do not give refunds to all the foundation staff who hated that I criticized other charitable organizations.  Sorry, but that is the way the vendors make their money and all sales are final!

Brian Davis

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Drumplay Celebrates 25 Years of Protecting the Thompson Legacy

Cleveland's world music and jazz poetry group, Drumplay is celebrating twenty five years as a working ensemble.  They will perform on Friday April 14 at 7 p.m. in the Lakewood Public Library Main Auditorium at 15425 Detroit Ave.

They are one group that keep alive Daniel Thompson's legacy and he regularly performed with them before his death.  Their Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and Middle Eastern sound features jazz and rhythmic drum and make for a rewarding night.  Friend of the Cleveland Street Chronicle, James Onysko is founding member of Drumplay. They are dedicating this performance to the 25th anniversary of Daniel Thompson being named Poet Laureate of Cuyahoga County.  There was a nice concert at Market Square park in 1992 to recognize Daniel with Drumplay performing. 

All are welcome to join Drumplay at the Lakewood Public Library.  The group is planning to release a new album titled 2.5 that will also mark the 25th anniversary. 

Brian Davis

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New Street Newspaper Out on the Streets

Mike McGraw dominated this edition of the Cleveland Street Chronicle with three articles in the paper.  There is an interview with retiring CEO, William Denihan, a story about the inability to find a payee and one on the VA Central Resource Center.  There are very good stories from the vendors about bedbugs, feeding homeless people and sales down at the West Side Market.  Staff wrote about the death of Unique Thrift, driving people to the polls, time limited shelters.  There are some great pics in the issue of the Stand Down, Homeless Memorial Day and the SocksPlus Program.   There are a few political stories from our vendors as well as health scares.  We had an article about the fake numbers that the County keeps sending out and relying on family in a time of need. 

Check it out at the West Side Market or pick one up from Delores or Mike downtown. 

Brian Davis

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New Street Newspaper is Available in Cleveland

The new street newspaper is out and available on the streets of Cleveland.  It has the fantastic poster by Thomas Dang on the front page.  There is also an interview with our Champion of Civil Rights 2016, Sandhya Gupta, a lawyer at the Chandra Law Firm. 

Intern Katy Carpenter wrote about the historic Bell vs. City of Boise brief from the Justice Department.  This was a historic filing in a civil rights case that makes the point that if a city is not providing enough shelter how can they issue tickets to homeless people.  Katy also did a commentary about the fine work of the folks over at West Side Catholic shelter around jobs.

Denise wrote a piece about her attempts to help a family get out of homelessness and all the obstacles that were in her way.  There is a good spread of photos in the middle on the campaign to end homelessness. 

All the vendors write for the paper with stories about surviving homelessness and highlighting their medical struggles.  There are hyper-local articles about neighborhoods with the vendors live, and a couple of stories about the holidays.  Two vendors did stories about the election.  One vendor tackled the increase in the bus fare locally. 

One vendor wrote about the Soloist and there was an article about the number of sex offenders filling the shelters without a housing solution.  There are a number of poems and lots of photos of various voting events.

Pick up a copy of the paper downtown or at the West Side Market and support your local street newspaper vendor.

Brian Davis

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New Paper Published Today


The new Street Chronicle is on the streets and ready for sale to the delegates in town for the RNC.  There are a couple of stories about the Community Women's Shelter and the hearing that took place in May.  There is an interview that Abby did with a transgender woman who happened to stay in both the women's and men's shelter.   Abby the intern also wrote about the important new guidelines for apartment owners issues with the re-entry population. 

Most of the vendors wrote stories for this issue.  Some were talking about the NBA championship which is new to Cleveland.  Others talked about their experience of being homeless or coming off the streets and into housing.  We have pictures of the new Public Square.  There are two additional stories from people who became homeless and how they made it off the streets.  You can pick it up at the West Side Market anytime they are open (even with the construction).  We also have vendors in the downtown on a regular basis. 

Brian Davis

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Congrats to Our Top Sellers

The new paper came out last month and as soon as the new paper comes out we have a sales contest for the vendors.  The high sales person for the month gets a gift card worth around $100 and the second place vendor in sales gets a gift card around $50 usually for a food place/restaurant or grocery store.  Then we have a third place gift card for Subway or Pizza shop for the third place sales contest winner.  This time we had:

  • Dolores was the winner

  • Darlene came in second place and

  • Raymond in third place

You can pick up your issue at the West Side Market or downtown.  We have stories about the LGBT Center and questions that should be asked during an upcoming presidential debate of the candidates.   We have many articles from the vendors about their life and their experiences.  There are a couple of articles from women staying at the Women's Shelter in Cleveland.  We have a nice center spread of the faces of people who attended the Homeless Stand Down in Cleveland, and a story about homelessness in Canada. 

Dolores came rolling back with sales after a period of time sitting out a suspension.  She is working to restore trust and regain her customers. 

Brian Davis

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Angelo Anderson Recognized by City of Cleveland

Angelo Anderson of 2100 Lakeside Shelter and Cleveland Street Chronicle

Angelo Anderson spent eight years living on the streets of Cleveland in the early 1990s, but turned his life around and used the next 25 years serving people who find themselves without housing.  He started the street newspaper, the Homeless Grapevine, first as a photocopied newsletter and then a real newspaper with the words of homeless people. 

Anderson worked to expand the Homeless Stand Down to include veterans and non-veteran homeless people. He has worked on housing people with a program called Bridging the Gap.  Anderson began working at the largest shelter in Ohio in 2000, and he has cooked, done catering and restaurant work.  His hobbies include fishing and he sometimes organizes outing for the guys at Lakeside shelter.  Angelo frequently speaks to church groups and school groups about homelessness and you can still find him on Saturdays selling the street newspaper at the West Side Market.

On February 26, 2016, the Community Relations Board and the City of Cleveland honored African Americans of note working in the City of Cleveland.  Mayor Frank Jackson was on hand and Blaine Griffin of the Department of Community Development.  Others of note working to serve low income individuals included Charles See of Community Re-Entry, Margaret Bernstein previously of the Plain Dealer and currently with WKYC-TV, Loretta Ferguson Freeman of No Return to the Streets that works with at-risk youth.  The committee recognized Celeste Terry of the United Black Fund and Latasha Watts of the Purple Project for her work with foster children locally.  Juvenile Court Judge Michael John Ryan was the keynote speaker, and there was a nice reception for the individual's honored.  The committee gave five $1,000 scholarships to Cleveland Metropolitan School District children going on to college as part of the celebration.

One strange piece of the celebration was the honor to Valerie Wright a sociologist from OSU who wrote a book entitled Could Quicker Executions Deter Homicides? The Relationship between Celerity, Capital Punishment, and Murder.  This seemed strange to me that a Black History Month celebration does not seem to recognize the history of executions of African Americans as a tool of terrorism.  Here is the description of the book from the LFB Literary Scholarly Publishing:

Wright examines whether waits for executions impact the deterrent value of capital punishment. She also seeks to determine whether race has a role in producing or inhibiting deterrence. She asks whether blacks and whites are equally responsive to how quickly executions are carried out, as well as, whether the effect of celerity varies with the race of the executed. Longer waits on death row are not related to murders. Indeed, executions and having individuals on death row may be contributing to higher rates of homicides. In states and years where there are no executions, homicides among blacks are about thirty-six percent lower, and in states and years without anyone on death row white homicide rates are about forty percent lower.

Am I wrong that the explosive title of this book and the premise of deterring crime through faster executions would not be something to celebrate by African Americans?  It just seems that executions in America are a racist form of punishment used disproportionately against African Americans and any discussion about the speed of those executions is beside the point.  I understand that this is a scholarly work that many have wondered about, but should an African American group give an award to an academic who studies this question?  Maybe the title of the book should have been, Execution is Obviously Racist, but Does it Deter Homicide? What do I know?  I am just a white guy, an outsider, observing all this. 

Congratulations Angelo on the recognition for the 25 years of work serving homeless people and the City Hall event was a nice wrap up of Black History month.

Brian Davis

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New Street Newspaper Out on the Streets

The new Street Chronicle is on the streets and being sold by our vendors at the West Side Market and Downtown.  We have stories about the Metanoia Project and the conditions at the Women's Shelter of Cleveland.  Nearly every vendor writes an article for the paper and there are pictures from the HandUp Gala.  There is an open letter to Catholic Charities asking for a new shelter for families in Cleveland.  We have a look at some of the activities that the new Mayor of Akron could do to reverse the horrible treatment given to homeless people down in the Rubber City.

Greg gives a story about the law of adverse possession as an answer for homeless people.  There is an article about vending and one specific vendor.  Tammy talks about her son who was shot. There were many articles about the needs and the help homeless people received.  Mike gives us some examples of how he found his way off the streets.  Joyce does the same in her article. 

All the profits from the paper go to the vendor.  They purchase the paper from NEOCH for 25 cents and then sell them on the streets.  They sign a code of conduct and there is a sales contest for the first month of the paper being out.  Pick one up today to support these vendors.

Brian Davis

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History of NEOCH Civil Rights

For the entire history of the Coalition, staff have worked on protecting against municipal actions that target homeless people and the hate crimes that result when government singles out one group in our society.  We believe that there is a correlation between high numbers of hate crimes against homeless people and the cities in the United States that routinely pass laws directed at homeless people.  It is for this reason that we regularly oppose “quality of life” laws and targeted enforcement against homeless people for purely innocent behavior of attempting to live without housing.  Here is a summary of the NEOCH Civil Rights work:

Clements vs. Cleveland

The first attempt in the mid 1990s to stop police arresting and threatening arrest of homeless people for purely innocent behavior of sitting or sleeping on the sidewalk.  Police accused of driving homeless people to the outskirts of Cuyahoga County and dropping them off the bus line.  The City of Cleveland eventually settled with the four plaintiffs and basically blamed “rogue cops” for misinterpreting the directives issued from the administration.  Richard Clements passed away in New York this year.

Homeless Grapevine vs. City of Cleveland

The City felt that vendors of the street newspaper must buy a license before they could sell a paper on the sidewalks of Cleveland.  NEOCH won in the district court, but was reversed on appeal.  City tried to pass legislation to force vendors buy a license, but could not get the legislation through the City Council.  Vendors are currently free to sell the paper within the City of Cleveland with only an agency issued license, but City maintains right to regulate the sidewalk if the City Council can agree. 

Key vs. City of Cleveland

This was the second attempt to stop the sweeps of homeless people in Cleveland.  Police began ticketing homeless people around the holidays to encourage people to come Downtown to shop.  Police were willing to testify that this was City policy at the time because they did not want to be labelled as “going rogue.”  Cleveland settled the lawsuit in 2000 and we have posed the settlement on our website.  It basically states that the police will not arrest or threaten arrest anyone for purely innocent behavior of sitting, sleeping, standing or eating on the sidewalk as long as they are not blocking access.  NEOCH tests this agreement every November to assure that it is still being followed (Appendix A). 

Stun Gun Attacks

In the early 2000s, there were young people who came to Cleveland from Youngstown and recorded themselves using a Taser stun gun to shock homeless people and film their reaction.  NEOCH pushed for harsh punishments for these three young people, and held a community meeting to talk about protection for vulnerable populations.

Homeless Exploitation Videos

There were major retailers in the United States online and in stores that were selling videos of homeless people fighting in exchange for change or alcohol.  NEOCH worked with the National Coalition for the Homeless to convince major retailers such as Best Buy and Target to stop selling these exploitation videos in their stores.  These were recorded by young people and collected together and then sold in many stores and online retailers.

Covenant to Serve Food

The City was concerned over the mess being created on Public Square by church groups feeding homeless people.  We worked with the new administration to avoid the City passing legislation that we would have had to challenge in court.  NEOCH worked out a “covenant” where the church groups would move off public square to a parking lot with trash and bathroom facilities and the City agreed to not introduce legislation.

The Right to Shelter

Since the founding of the Coalition, NEOCH has fought to assure that the shelters are accessible to everyone in need and at no time will the shelters turn people away over a lack of space.  For over 20 years we have had guaranteed access to shelter in Cleveland, and we have worked to improve the conditions at the shelters.  When the shelters are full, providers will transport people to a church or recreation center as an overflow site if the building capacity is reached.  We also support the development of an overnight drop in center similar to Metanoia for the entire year.

Voting Lawsuit Against the State of Ohio

NEOCH has filed suit against the State of Ohio and three Secretaries of State from 2005 through the present over voting procedures in the state.  Our concern was regarding the identification requirements and their impact on reducing turnout by low income, homeless and minority voters.  I have provided a series of depositions in this case.  In years 2006, 2008 and 2012, we had a settlement with the state to allow homeless people to use a social security number to have their ballot count if they voted in person.  This agreement was binding until 2014 when the state changed the law regarding the use of identification for provisional ballots.

Brian Davis

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New Paper is Out for Sale on the Streets

New Street Chronicle is out and available at the West Side Market and in Downtown Cleveland.  It has a number of stories about the the Women's Shelter in Cleveland.  There are some really nice stories from our intern, Abby, about the North Star Center and the new West Side Catholic Jobs program.  There was a really powerful commentary from Dan about his experience as an intern in talking to the women staying at the Women's shelter.   We have a survey on the front page about "What led to Shelter?" for a number of people interviewed at two different shelters.  

Most of our vendors put something in the paper about their own life including one interesting piece asking why the Rock Hall does not embrace the vendors?   We have published a poem from a women daydreaming outside the Women's Shelter and a couple of first person accounts of women living inside the shelter.  There is a photo display of the destruction of Camelot and the new police station located on that site.  It is a really nice issue for content. 

Brian Davis

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New Street Chronicle Available in Cleveland

The new Street Chronicle #22.2 is available in Cleveland right now.  It has a survey of the most Surprising thing found by homeless people when they first became homeless.  We have a number of photographs, and a few pieces of poetry.  There is an article about the importance of outreach along with a few local news reports.  A volunteer did a story about interacting with residents at both the men's shelter as well as the women's shelter and the differences.  I did a commentary about the results of the 2012 Police Chase that resulted in the death of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. 

All the vendors submitted stories including one on social media and the obstacles that Steve Harvey overcame.  NEOCH's Annual Meeting was featured in the middle section of the paper along with a story of the Criminalization conference in Denver.  One vendor had a run in with the clean up crews in Ohio City and the bank door that was left open.  There were two stories on homeless veterans composed by two vendors. 

Thanks to PM Graphics in Streetsboro for the printing of the paper.

Brian Davis

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Drumplay Organizing Benefit for Street Chronicle

April 25th at 8 p.m. at Sandy Chanty at 5457 Lake Road in Geneva on the Lake. 

Drumplay featuring Paul Stranahan will perform in order to raise funds for the Cleveland Street Chronicle (formerly Homeless Grapevine) newspaper. 

April 30th at Algebra Tea House at 7:30 p.m. in Little Italy in Cleveland.

This benefit will feature Ernie Krivda on sax along with Drumplay.   For this gig, Ray McNiece will be the guest poet to sit in with Drumplay.  These events take place in April to remember the Cuyahoga County Poet Laureate who passed away in mid 2000s after having written hundreds of poems for the old Homeless Grapevine newspaper. 

James Onysko, founder of Drumplay, said, "I wonder why I should keep it going.  I mean, you can't say we are 'up and coming'.  Instead, we are old and receding.  But to help out the efforts of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless is at least one good reason to keep it going.  That, a
nd the pure joy of making music.  We remember Daniel Thompson especially during National Poetry Month.  Our Poet Laureate of Cuyahoga County was a tireless activist for the homeless and disenfranchised.  We can do no less as NEOCH daily demonstrates.  More than ever, people have to stand up in order to solve our collective social problems as leadership is lacking; and it's not enough, anyway.  So we must 'come together' as the song goes.

Brian Davis

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Daniel Thompson Event for 2015

There are two benefit shows in April to support the Cleveland Street Newspaper.  Both shows are free, but everyone is asked to donate to the Street Chronicle. 

FREE POETRY SHOW to Remember Daniel Thompson

April 25         Sandy Chanty @ 8:00 p.m.

(Benefit for NEOCH + Cleveland Street Chronicle)

5457 Lake Road
Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio

April 30            Algebra Tea House @ 7:30 p.m.

(Benefit for NEOCH + Cleveland Street Chronicle)   
  2136 Murray Hill Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106 in Little Italy.

Our annual fundraiser for the Street Chronicle is upon us; and these two dates will serve to help Cleveland Street Chronicle + NEOCH - and keep the spirit of Daniel Thompson alive.  Please spread the word to promote the heck out of these two dates. 

Brian Davis

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New Street Chronicle Came Out Today

The Street Chronicle Volume 22 Number 1 are now out.  It has tons of pictures from the Stand Down, the Homeless Memorial Day and the Hand Up Gala (4 colorful pages).  There are articles by most of the vendors and a page of New Years Resolutions by those who attended the Homeless Stand Down. 

We have an article about the guys who were swept in Akron and are suing the City.  There is an article about living in Public Housing and one about the services offered for veterans locally.  Sarah wrote an article about Labre at John Carroll and we have a few photos from our distribution of boots and socks from the SocksPlus Campaign.  Support your local vendor by purchasing a copy of the paper.  Thanks Brent for all your work in laying out this issue.

Brian Davis

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Street Newspaper Available For Sale

The Cleveland Street Chronicle was published last week.   The vendors began selling the paper especially at the West Side Market and downtown.   We have a nice story about the changes in Ohio law regarding how to improve services to people with a mental illness.  Each of the vendors wrote a story for the paper about their experiences or about their history.

We have a nice story about the history of the small town of Toronto Ohio and some wonderful pictures by Cindy.   The Cosgrove Center is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and Sarah wrote up a story about this essential service in the community.  There is a story about homeless veteran's housing, and one about the publication of the Street Card.  We have a profile of NEOCH Board member, Larry Davis and one about how hard it is to get bed rest in the women's shelter. 

Buzzy published a poem, and many of the vendors published commentaries about poverty and family issues.  There are stats on domestic violence, and really nice profile of one of the Street Voices speaker, Silk, who got into housing and regularly attends the Homeless Congress.  Overall, it is a really interesting paper with a good mix of positive stories with challenges facing the homeless population.  There is always a hefty dose of opinions from the street.  We hope that you will pick it up when you are downtown or at the West Side Market. 

Brian Davis

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New Street Chronicle Available for Sale

The new issue of the Street Chronicle (Issue #21.2) is out on the streets right now and being sold mostly at the West Side Market and downtown.   This is a really nice paper with some really good content.  Thanks to Brent for putting it together, and thanks to the many volunteers who wrote for the paper.  Cindy Miller, one of our former photography students submitted a couple of great images that are included in the paper pictured above.  We have an in depth look at the rights of transgender individuals in using the shelter by Anne Nickoloff.  There is a spotlight of Eileen Kelly and the ID collaborative and Norman wrote two articles about outreach and an entitlement demonstration in March. 

There is a local news updates and a number of stories written by the vendors including a rememberance of a previous vendor, Randy, who died. Cindy along with submitting fantastic photos gave an account of how a small town dealt with the cold weather.  Simona gave an account of going from homelessness to finding housing this year in her article.  Check out the paper which is still only $1.25 with the profits from the paper going to the vendors.  Not only do they write for the paper, but they then sell their words on the streets of Cleveland.  Check out the poetry by Daniel Thompson in this issue.

Brian Davis

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New Street Chronicle is on the Streets

Cleveland Street Chronicle Issue #21.1 is now on the streets.  The vendors are very happy because the Winter festival on West 25th St. is today.  They have new content to distribute to shoppers of the West Side Market and the businesses over on the Near West Side.  They have become a staple over there even appearing in the history book documenting the first 100 years of the institution. 

The paper has stories from many of the vendors, a nice photo spread from the Stand Down and the Homeless Memorial Day.   Cindy Miller has another in her series on rural homelessness.  There is a story about the trials that the women staying at Laura's Home are going through right now as they try to find help.  We have an interview with Cleveland Community Development guru, Norm Krumholtz talking about transportation issues.  We have two articles about the Community Women's Shelter.  We posted the list of people who died in 2013 with some experience of homelessness. 

Check it out. It is on the streets and available from a uniformed vendor for $1.25.   The vendors would appreciate your support of this microenterprise project in Cleveland.  21 years of spreading the word on the streets.

Brian Davis

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Received a Strange Call Today about the Chronicle

I got a call from a pedestrian who bought a Street Chronicle newspaper today from one of our vendors and wanted a few questions answered.  He confirmed all the information that is on page 2 of the paper (Code of Conduct and newspaper operations).  How much do they pay for the paper--$.35?  Where does the money go when a pedestrian buys a paper--into the pocket of the vendor?  Then he asked, "Do you verify where this money is going to assure that it does not go to drugs or alcohol?"   This is an amazing question. 

Have you ever asked the guy at Starbucks serving coffee if any of their salary goes to alcohol or drugs?   Have you every asked your cab driver or the UPS driver?   Would you have the nerve to ask your doctor during a physical if he uses any of his income for alcohol or drugs or your postal carrier or the woman at the DMV?   Setting aside the fact that alcohol is a legal drug, it is none of your business what a vendor does with his or her money.   The guy was incredulous when I indicated that he got a product (a paper) for his money.  He said, "But common you know what I mean, I didn't want the paper."  Actually, no I did not know that.  

The Street Newspaper is 15 pages of solid material written by people with experience of homelessness along with our volunteers.  The content is worth $1.25 to find out what homeless people have to say about issues.   The paper is an alternative to panhandling.  Would you rather have a guy begging on the streets or someone with a product to sell?  Some of the founders of our country would write down their words and sell them on the streets of Boston and Philadelphia.   Isn't this something valuable to our society--making money off of your own words when times are tough?  You have a right to walk by the vendor and give your money to the guy working at McDonalds or Walmart or the local Chinese Restaurant.   If you don't want to take the paper that is your right in this society.  If you don't want to support an alternative to panhandling that is your right. 

The reason that I became involved in the struggle to end homelessness in America was the street newspaper sold in Cleveland.  I bought a paper from a guy in University Circle while attending college, and he was so enthusiastic that it had his story and picture in the paper.  I thought it was a cool concept that you would sell your own words to make some change.  I know that Bob who sold me that first paper was an alcoholic and was struggling with finding help, but he was also a man in need.  Who was I to say what he did with his money.   He earned it, and it is a tough living.  It is hard to have 90% of the people walk by and say "No."  It is hard to go out in 18 degree winter storm to sell papers in the morning to people on their way to work.   The vendor has rain and the heat to deal with and dramatic changes in weather that is a staple of the Cleveland landscape.  They deserve every dollar they earn. 

So, Mr. Pedestrian caller, you don't have to buy a paper from our vendors, but you have no right to know their personal history.  They are independent business contractors who are trying to make a living in the face of health issues, financial disasters and broken marriages.  Support the paper as an alternative to begging or don't, but please don't be so judgmental about your fellow travellers downtown.

Brian Davis

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