Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

Street paper give voice, hope to homeless – KVAL News

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

KVAL News :: Jun 1, 2011 at 9:09 AM PDT. EUGENE, Ore. :: Kelly Koopmans reports:

— Every Tuesday afternoon, class is held under the Washington Jefferson Bridge in Eugene. Word by word, line by line, Eugene’s homeless put their stories on paper.

“I like to write about social issues,” said Mary Louise Wragge. “I try to express my personal experiences because many times people on the streets aren’t heard.”

On a pop-up table under writers prefect their prose with the help of David Gerber. Gerber produces The Oregon Vagabond out of his home office, and relies entirely on content written by those who call the streets of Eugene home.

Gerber said he pays his homeless writers $5 for every story.

The articles range from adventurous travel stories, to poetry, to tales describing life as a homeless person.

The Oregon Vagabond’s writers are also the vendors. Along with the $5 for every story, they make 75 cents for every copy they sell.

“For some people it just means more than anything to be captured in history and published in the papers,” said Gerber. “They feel invisible sometimes and this helps give them a voice.”

KVAL News first met Gerber last year as the Oregon Vagabond began to sell. He said now, one year later, circulation is up.

Gerber said the paper is currently experiencing the best sales they’ve ever had. He  said vendors sell between a total of 1,500 and 2,000 papers each week….”

Click here to read Koopman’s full article.


The Oregon Vagabond in the News – The Register-Guard

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011 – Diane Dietz reports on street newspapers on the front page of the business section (D) in The Register-Guard: Papers provide jobs and a voice – Homeless vendors and writers gain from a growing trend:

“A new form of hand-to-mouth economics has emerged in Eugene during the past 1½ years with the development of the Oregon Vagabond street newspaper.

The paper is the latest manifestation of a two-decade old national street newspaper movement devoted to helping urban homeless people earn a little money and eventually find a way off of the streets.

Homeless people write the stories. Homeless vendors buy the papers from the publishers — generally for 25 cents apiece — and sell them on the streets for $1, plus any tips they earn. The 31 street papers nationally are seen as an antidote to motivation-sapping handouts as well as to the isolating practices of begging or panhandling.

“It was a response to the rise of modern day homelessness in urban environments throughout the United States,” said Israel Bayer, director at Street Roots, the Portland street paper that began in 1999.

The content in the papers varies. Some focus on stories from the streets, others dig into issues related to poverty and others have an entertainment bent for maximum saleability.

Celebrities often contribute. Each year, for example, a Portland Trail Blazer offers himself for a page-one story in Street Roots.

The street papers have developed a surprisingly sophisticated infrastructure, including a trade group, the North American Street Newspaper Association, and an annual convention — this year in October in Nashville.

Like mainstream newspapers, the street newspapers share their articles for publication through a news service, the 9-year-old international Street News Service. In addition, the Reuters News wire service donates content to the street papers….”

Click here to read Dietz’s full article with photos by Paul Carter, an in-depth report in The Register-Guard on street newspapers and The Oregon Vagabond.