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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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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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 Voices Video Posted

We posted a new video featuring Angelo Anderson on the front of our website and in our Street Voices section of the website.  Most people are aware of Angelo and his long affiliation with the NEOCH.  Angelo was one of the men who approached NEOCH about printing the street newspaper that they were calling the Homeless Grapevine 21 years ago.   Angelo has been a long term speaker for our Street Voices program.  He raised himself out of homelessness to join the NEOCH staff and then became staff at the Salvation Army/Lutheran Metro Ministry main men's shelter in Cleveland.  This is a short promo for the Street Voices project, but Angelo would love to come out and speak to your group.  Call Ken at NEOCH to schedule a time for Angelo, Shari or Don or any of the others.

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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New Street Chronicle is on the Streets

The new issue of the Street Chronicle is now on the streets.  All the vendors have picked up their paper and are on the streets selling the paper.  A number of interns provided much of the content, which is exceptional for this paper.  We have a story about the new Veterans Center on Euclid Ave. and one about the Free Clinic of Greater Cleveland. Many of the vendors added stories to this issue including one from Diana who was going blind while living in the shelters.  Delores reflected on her friend Linda, and Buzzy wrote about his new apartment.   An especially revealing article was from Jennifer who talked about the relationship between domestic violence and the child custody issues locally. 

There is a nice commentary about possible solutions to homelessness from staff of a current shelter.  There is a profile of a Cleveland Public School student who became homeless by another high school student.  One of our photography class graduates wrote a story about the food bank in her small town in Northwest Ohio, and Simona wrote a commentary about her impressions of Atlanta's treatment of homeless people.  Amazingly, she still likes Atlanta even though the City leadership mistreats those living in poverty.  

Laura, one of the summer interns at NEOCH wrote about the changes in the Social Security system which will only complicate the lives of homeless people.  We have discussed this issue on our website here.   Kathryn, our other fantastic intern, wrote about the Sub Zero Mission and their amazing coats that they gave out to homeless people this last winter.   Check it out when you see a vendor at the West Side Market or on the streets downtown with their colorful uniforms.

Brian Davis

Great PD Article on the New Uniforms

One good reason to buy the paper today is to get a look at the nice Gus Chan photo on the front page of the Plain Dealer Metro Section today.  I know that you can see it on-line or on your tablet, but it looks best on the printed paper.  Plus there is a special bonus picture on page B3 today.

We have included our own pictures on the new uniforms here, but the Plain Dealer featured a nice article about the changes in Public Square and our vendors trying to regain a foot hold in the Downtown.  Reporter Mike O'Malley talked to vendor Kim Goodman about the new lime green uniforms, hats, t-shirts and safety vests for the vendors.  Mike gives a good overview of the new project and the collaboration with Downtown Cleveland Alliance.  Check it online or pick up a copy on the newstand.

Brian Davis

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Street Chronicle Appears in Plain Dealer Today

Mark Naymik wrote a nice commentary in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer about the 20th year of the Street Newspaper in Cleveland.   Mark focused on the history of NEOCH publishing a street newspaper from the Xerox copies in 1993 to the color newspaper of today.   He was able to taAngelo (blue shirt) at the Street Newspaper Conference hosted by the Grapevine in 1999.lk to vendors Angelo and Mike (although Mike's comments did not make the final cut).   Mark did a good job with detailing the rough history of the paper in Cleveland.  From fights with the City of Cleveland to struggles keeping the vendors on the straight and narrow, we have had a tough 20 years.  We had our ups and downs from our court victory in 1996 to suspending operations in 2007.  Then having the Cleveland East Side Poets raising money to bring us back and winning awards from NASNA and the Knight Batten Foundation were all highlights of the last 20 years. 

Angelo is certainly one of the big success stories from the paper, but there are many others.  Mike V. found housing after a long period of time sleeping outside.  Delores pays the rent with the money she makes.  Buzzy got into a nice apartment building this last week after a period of homelessness.  Some of our vendors raise enough money to pay for transportation back to their family in other cities.  A few of our vendors have used the paper as a springboard to other sales jobs, and some pay for the life sustaining prescription drugs they need to survive with the money they make selling the paper.  We have become a ficture at the West Side Market, and hear from the vendors and the Police regularly about problems or issues.  Now, we are trying to re-establish a presence around Public Square.  All of our vendors who sell downtown will have a uniform.  If they want to sell anywhere in the Warehouse District, Public Square or the Arena District they will have to wear their new bright green uniform.  More on this program in the near future.  Check out the article in today's paper.   We have a large archive of previous articles from the history of the paper here.

Brian

Post Script:  One clarification, I was not the director of the Coalition when Angelo and a few other vendors brought the idea of the paper to NEOCH.  That was Bryan Gillooly in 1993 who was the director at that time. I started volunteering for the paper between issue 6 and 7 in 1994. 

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New Paper on the Streets

The new issue of the Cleveland Street Chronicle is now on the streets.  It actually was on the street a couple of weeks back, we just overlooked it because of the election.  The new issue has Raymond and Buzzy on the front cover and has a lot of useful information contained inside. Issue 19.3 contains:

  • An article about the new Central Intake system in Cuyahoga County.
  • A Dispute between the City and the Paper was settled over vending laws and is featured.
  • A story about the inadequate funding for the Homeless Programs passed by the US House.
  • Stories from everyone of the long term vendors.  
  • A story about the changing definition of homelessness in the United States.
  • An overview of the new voting restrictions and all the disputes regarding this last election.
  • A feature on Ms. Valentine at the Cosgrove Center
  • A commentary about the choices people make when they are homeless
  • A commentary on the dramatic rise in family homelessness in Cleveland.
  • Poetry, photographs, and additional information.

As always, you can always pick up a copy of the paper at the West Side Market.  We have archives of the paper here.  The vendors would love your help by buying a paper.

Brian Davis

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New Street Newspaper Available

Issue 19.1 Available on the Streets

The new issue of the Cleveland Street Chronicle is now on the streets.  We have been selling it for a couple of weeks.  This issue is unique in that nearly every vendor contributed a poem or story.  This issue is heavy on the commentary and light on the news, but still a good 15 pages.  It is well worth the $1.25 and the support for the vendor.  There is an interview with Hilary King, the director of the fair housing group, Housing Research and Advocacy Center.  We published a history of the homeless memorial day in Cleveland.  There is an in depth interview with Sheri West and a look at the 2012 Stand Down. 

A local flop house owner wrote a commentary about his business and the misconceptions of pay by the day facilities.  There is a nice center spread that is mislabeled as the "Hand Up Gala," but is actually the Homeless Memorial Day photos.  Angelo has a story about a fishing outing at the shelter, and there is a profile of Mark Read who vended the paper and we lost in March. Delores, Mark's spouse, wrote a piece comparing selling the paper with selling hot dogs with a cart.  This issue has a nice overview of Re-Entry issues and some of the problems people face when they try to re-establish a stable life. 

You can always buy a paper at the West Side Market, and with the casino opening it is likely there will be more vendors downtown.  Support your local street newspaper vendor by buying a paper. 

Brian

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