For those who don’t know, The Contributor is Nashville’s homeless newspaper, sold by homeless and formerly homeless people. Working as independent contractors, they buy copies of the newspaper for a quarter a piece and then sell them on the streets for whatever they can get. The recommended price is one dollar. The vendors keep all the proceeds. Several homeless people have been able to secure housing for themselves with the money they have earned by selling the paper.
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Oh my. 30,000 copies of the March issue of The Contributor have been printed. For several months the vendors have proven themselves able to sell out the entire run, regardless of how many were printed. It is certainly a challenge, not to be taken lightly. With better weather coming, all vendors should experience an increase in sales. With just about 100 active vendors, each vendor will have to sell 300 papers this coming month. It could happen. This past month, one vendor sold over 1000 papers. Every week more vendors are being trained and joining our ranks. For anyone who believes that homeless people are lazy, they should pay attention to these facts, all of The Contributor vendors are homeless or formerly homeless people. Selling newspapers is work. Besides selling the paper, homeless and formerly homeless people write the majority of its articles.
The feature story is a most sad one, of a child born into homelessness just a few months ago, yet, while in the foster care system, died. If that wasn’t enough for this poor mother to experience, you should read how “the system” added insult to this heinous injury.
Elsewhere in The Contributor are other stories about life for homeless people. Can a gay homeless man truly come out of the closet, if he doesn’t actually have a closet? Although I and others have known that Chuck is gay, he wrote a nice article, a declaration of self, about his life. Yes, Virgil, there are gay homeless people.
Mr. Mysterio shares more of his wisdom in “Hoboscope”, Ray Ponce DeLeon reviews the movie classic, “Sullivan’s Travels,” and I made another Sudoku puzzle. And there is much much more – twenty four pages in all. It’s worth reading.
Email me if you’d like the solution to any of the Sudoku puzzles.