You Can’t Have Just One Contributor Newspaper

The Contributor is Nashville’s only street newspaper sold exclusively by homeless and formerly homeless people. Many vendors are able to earn enough money selling the paper to rent small apartments and become unhomeless, so you have to allow for that.

The paper is currently published monthly, although there are plans to make it a bi-monthly publication next year. It is text heavy with articles from a wide variety of perspectives. You’re guaranteed to read something you will agree with and something you wont. Such is the nature of a free press and a free people. Yes, even homeless people qualify for the rights and freedoms all other citizens enjoy. Many of the articles are written by homeless and formerly homeless people. But you’ll also find articles written by professionals, out reach workers, clergy, shelter directors, etc., who all work with the homeless on a daily basis. And on occasion there are articles written by other people who have something they would like to say about homelessness. (Besides these, you’ll find a sudoku, a wordfind, and perhaps a crossword, all puzzles created by yours truly.) You certainly get more than a dollar’s worth of information, insight and entertainment in every issue.

New issues are released on the last Wednesday of the month, and within a week, most regular readers will have bought a copy. Besides having the paper, many patrons are just as interested in supporting the vendors. So, it has become common practice for many people to buy several copies though out the month. This may seem silly to some, but there are many good reasons for having more than one.

Chances are, you’ll find at least one article in the paper that is worth telling a friend about. Well, go ahead and give your copy to your friend and get another for yourself. Sometimes people buy multiple copies so to share it with all their friends. Some people even purchase copies to share at work or church or other organization.

Still there are more reasons and uses for The Contributor that you might not have thought of. Being that I am a vendor, I want to give you every reason I can think of for buying as many copies within the month as possible.

I’m trying to come up with a list of all the things a person could use a homeless newpaper for, other than read it. If you have any recommendations, please add them in the comments.

  • Line a bird cage
  • house train a puppy
  • wash windows
  • wrap fish
  • party hats
  • other origami
  • paper mache
  • wrapping birthday presents
  • protect floor and windows from paint spill
  • start a bonfire

About Kevin Barbieux

I have been diagnosed as being chronically homeless. I write about my experiences and opinions of being homeless
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