Linda the Vendor and Philosopher Passed Away

We lost Linda, a Grapevine vendor this last week.  Her service was July 18, 2013 at Carey's Funeral Home on Lorain Ave.   You may remember her at the West Side Market selling the papers.  She also wrote for the paper.  She was an environmentalist who loved cats.  She had a great deal of trouble keeping stable housing throughout her life, and she was overtaken by cancer this last year.  Linda had a rough life and struggled with behavioral health issues.  I remember that she met a lot of politicians at the West Side Market when she was selling the paper, and she always offered her opinions on the state of the nation.

She was always determined and we had to send people out to help her on a number of occasions when she was struggling and living rough.   She died from complications related to cancer in the last week.  The folks at West Side Catholic arranged a small service for the individuals who came in contact with her and a few of the vendors attended.  We have posted two stories from Linda here:

This is a story from Issue 86 from 2008 authored by Linda.

This is a story from Issue 87 from 2008

Here is the short poem she included with her Oppression Day story

         Reminiscing warm times for the cold weather:

         The stars were bright

            The sky was light

            And heaven’s glitter

            Came shining thru

            All from thoughts of you!

            Do you see what I see

            Do you hear what I hear

            Said the homeless person

            To the gentle police

Delores wrote a story for the upcoming Street Chronicle about Linda.  We will miss her. 

Brian Davis

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New Street Chronicle Available

The new issue of the Street Chronicle is available and on the streets of Cleveland.  Make sure you pick one up from your favorite local vendor.  They are available on the streets of Cleveland and always at the West Side Market.  There are some fantastic photos from the rally down in Columbus asking for Medicaid expansion, the pancake breakfast, and the new vendor uniforms.   There are stories from each of the vendors of the paper.  There are news stories about the Homeless Congress and the new Cleveland Foodbank program.  We have a couple of poems including one by our departed friend Daniel Thompson.  The paper has a number of commentaries about homelessness.  It looks really sharp thanks to Brent who does all the layout and  PM Graphics for printing the paper.   We have also added a photo album on our Facebook page with our vendors.  Like us on our Clevelandhomeless page on Facebook. 

Brian Davis

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New Vendor Uniforms for the Street Chronicle

Delores, Buzzy and Bobbette (left to right) in their new uniforms

The Cleveland Street Chronicle vendors gathered on Public Square yesterday for their bi-weekly meeting and to meet the media.  Unfortunately, no television media showed up, but we took plenty of pictures for the upcoming issue.  We are working to professionalize the vendor crew and compete better with the panhandlers.  The vendors want to retake the Downtown against the panhandlers.  They went through a customer service training and have the bright green uniforms in the hopes that pedestrians view them as more professional and trustworthy.  Our goal is to double the number of vendors that sell the paper over the summer.  We have added a press release to the site introducing the new uniforms.

Brian Davis

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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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Bogus Solicitors Spotted in Coventry

During the nice summer weather, we have seen people out claiming to solicit donations to support homeless programs.  There is a gang of women operating mostly in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland who pray upon the goodwill of shoppers and restaurant patrons by asking for donations for homeless shelters or services.  This is a scam, and none of the money goes to any of the shelters.  Only the Salvation Army bell ringers with their familiar red kettle and the Street Chronicle newspaper vendors are out on the sidewalks asking for monetary support.   The Chronicle vendors provide a newspaper to customers who then sell them on the streets for $1.25.  The vendors have a badge issued by the Coalition for the Homeless, they follow a code of conduct and they always offer a newspaper to those who give them money. 

We noticed a group of women at Walmart in Cleveland Hts and outside of Tommy’s in Coventry.  We have tried to stop these women, but the police are hesitant to respond because the victims are typically only losing spare change or at most $5 each.  The cumulative effect is that these women are stealing hundreds of dollars a day from homeless families and the charitable organizations who serve them.  Please, if you see these women, call the police or ask the store manager to have them removed from the sidewalk or doorway.  All of the charitable organizations in the County depend on the goodwill of donors to keep our doors open, and we hate to see individuals use our good name to underwrite a criminal enterprise.  Be careful, but please continue to be generous to actual non-profit organizations.

We have seen these women arrested in a couple of suburbs, but we could not convince the prosecutor in Cleveland Hts. to follow up.   They have stolen thousands of dollars over the last few years, and we get the largest number of complaints from Cleveland Hts.  DON'T GIVE TO THESE BOGUS VENDORS!!!

Brian

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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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Vendor Mark Read Dies

West Side Market Vendor Dies on Friday

Mark Read had sold the paper for years including both the Grapevine and the Street Chronicle, and was a previous staff member at University Settlement.  He died on Friday evening after attending our every other week vendor meeting and after working his shift at the West Side Market on Friday March 2nd in the afternoon.  His wake will be on Thursday at Golubski Funeral Home in the the afternoon.  We believe that Mark died after a fall down the stairs, but we could not find a death notice in the paper to link to this story. We do not have an official cause of death at this time. He had just gotten over a sickness that had kept him away from selling the paper, but he was back last week.   Mark was always quiet and respectful to customers and other vendors.  He did write a story which will appear in the next issue of the paper.  He had a rough time in life with lots of struggles to overcome.   

Brian
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