by Joyce Robinson
Have you ever thought about going into business for yourself? Do you think you have what it takes to be your own boss? What if I told you that after a 1-hour training, you could potentially turn a $5 investment into $25? As a vendor for The Cleveland Street Chronicle, you’d have the potential to do that!
What is the Cleveland Street Chronicle? The Street Chronicle, formerly known as The Homeless Grapevine, is a newspaper whose primary purpose is to educate the public about issues raised by people who are homeless.
In order to become independent vendors of the Street Chronicle, individuals must go through a one-hour training program and a 30-day trial/probationary period. Weekly vendor trainings are held on Tuesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. at the NEOCH (Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless) offices at 3631 Perkins Avenue on the third floor.
There is a Street Chronicle Vendor Contract, which lists 31 non-negotiable rules for being a vendor. This contract is a protection for the vendors, as well as, for the Chronicle staff. The Vendor Contract is signed by the vendor and by a Chronicle staff member. Rules for “vendor etiquette,” how to treat fellow vendors and customers and when, where and how to sell the Chronicle, are included in the contract.
Potential vendors learn when to sell the newspaper– not after midnight; where to sell the newspaper –at the West Side Market, initially; and how to sell the newspaper – in the vendor uniform, displaying either their temporary, or their 30-day permanent badge. The vendor purchases the newspaper at the NEOCH office for twenty-five cents ($.25) a copy, and can sell it for $1.25 a copy. With a five-dollar investment, which is 20 papers, a vendor has the potential to make $25.
After the training, a vendor is initially issued a temporary identification badge. After selling 200 newspapers, vendors are issued a permanent badge and a uniform. In order to receive their permanent uniform and to be allowed to sell the Chronicle in downtown Cleveland, and other areas in the city, vendors must also receive training from The Downtown Cleveland Alliance. Active vendors must attend bi-weekly meetings where they bid to work shifts at the West Side Market.
After a person has taken the vendor training, there is no obligation to sell the Street Chronicle. Selling the Street Chronicle is totally voluntary. The number of hours you work per week + the number of papers you sell = the amount of money you can make.
Would you be willing to work? How much money would you be willing to invest to make that dream a reality?
That being said, how much you make is entirely up to you.
Copyright Cleveland Street Chronical and NEOCH June 2015