The new issue of the Cleveland Street Chronicle is on the streets right now and being sold by the vendors just in time for Independence Day. We have an interview with Ohio native, Barb Poppe of the federal Interagency Council on Homelessness. There is a discussion about the new policy of attempting to divert people as they enter shelter featuring both interviews from the defenders and critics of the program. Most of the vendors submitted stories for the paper. The vendors increase their sales if they can point to a story that they wrote in the paper.
The center spread has the pictures from the Jim Schlecht celebration. There is a profile of Debbie, who was an IRS agent and became homeless after her family broke up. Ellen did a number of articles for the paper including a summary of local and national news. Along with the article about diversion at the entry shelters in Cleveland, there is an article about how the Columbus Ohio shelters have changed to only being accessible by phone. In order to enter a shelter in Columbus, you must call first and be at the shelter that is assigned within a certain time limit or you lose the bed. One of our writers reviews a book Tell them Who I am : The Lives of Homeless Women by Elliot Liebow.
One of the vendors talks about sleeping at 2100 Lakeside in Cleveland now that there are many more severely mentally ill people in the shelter. Delores gives more information about her husband Mark who passed away earlier this year. We had a small dust up with the City licensing department again over the paper sales. We have not heard from the City about licenses since the year 2000, but they recently updated their vending laws and confronted one of our vendors. (Who knew that license department employees can go out and give out tickets?) So, we have changed the front of the paper to reflect that 35 cents of the paper goes to a charity, NEOCH, in order to clarify our relationship with the City of Cleveland. We still do not understand why the street newspaper was not included in the new law so that there would not be a question about low income people vending the paper as is done in 100 cities around the world.
Speaking of Mark.... The vendors are hosting a memorial for Mark Read on Thursday July 5 at 1 p.m. at the newly renovated park across from the West Side Market. Readers are welcome to stop by for a few minutes to remember a former vendor and friend to homeless people.
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