Streetvibes sheds light on poverty

By: Megan Lux ~Staff Writer~

Photo courtesy of | Cincinnati’s Streetvibes is part of the international street newspaper movement.

Homelessness is a pervasive problem in the United States. In Cincinnati alone, roughly 25,000 people experience homelessness on an annual basis. The two leading factors of homelessness in Cincinnati are loss of income and lack of affordable housing.

Streetvibes is an alternative newspaper created by the The Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition in order to combat homelessness. The distributors of Streetvibes, who experience homelessness or poverty, buy the newspaper for fifty cents and then sell it at $1.50 to the public. Those who sell the magazine keep the profit that they earn as a source of additional income.

The average Streetvibes distributor makes about $60 a month, but some distributors have been known to make about $300 or $400. The newspaper has other benefits besides helping individuals earn money. Streetvibes brings awareness to the issue of homelessness by providing educational content to the public.

In the Feb. 6, 2015 issue there was an article with information about how to react to panhandling with compassion. It gave examples of dialogue to use if you have or do not have money or if you do not have time to stop and have a conversation with a panhandler. The article concluded with the number of the Cincinnati Homeless Coalition if the public wants more information about panhandling and lack of affordable housing.

Streetvibes is also a way for homeless individuals to share their creative works. It includes articles, poetry, creative writing, photography and interviews written by homeless and foformerly homeless people. It allows those who often lack a voice in society to have their voices heard.

Not everyone experiencing homelessness or poverty can be distributors of Streetvibes. Streetvibes’ website contains a lengthy list of rules distributors must abide by in order to sell the newspapers. One requirement is that distributors must attend a monthly meeting. These meetings are mandatory, but those who attend receive ten newspapers to sell.

Other requirements include basic codes of conduct such as not using harsh language or forcing people to buy an issue of Streetvibes. There are many locations throughout Cincinnati where the public can buy Streetvibes. However, if you cannot locate a distributor, you can subscribe online and pay an annual price of $45.