Saturday, February 7, 2009

Street Sights, February Issue

This past Wednesday, the February edition of Street Sights came back from the printer and it is out on the streets of Providence. For me, it was the first issue released since I started working for the group and it was exciting to see the stacks and stacks of papers, counted out and bundled up for distribution day. Watching the paper go through every step of production revealed an impressive amount of work behind the scenes, month after month. I watched the group brainstorm for story ideas, submit first drafts of articles, second drafts, line up reporters & photographers for key events throughout the month, edit articles, debate layout issues, and edit and edit. The week before going to press, I was given the opportunity to write a short piece about the tent city in Providence (now self-named Hope City). It is so nice to be involved with this group.

The paper is distributed through local libraries, coffee shops, meal sites, shelters, churches, government buildings, and mailed out to subscribers. Street Sights reaches all kinds of people, who may or may not have ties to homelessness. The paper covers news, offers opinions, and space for advocates to promote change, while other parts of the paper give homeless individuals room for expression and artistic creations, without judgment. People are doing great work, everywhere I turn. My favorite part of the paper is "Faces of Homelessness," where individuals describe their experiences in shelters, or their snippets from their life-stories, and successes or talents are celebrated. I see this section as an active form of respect, but also as breaking through vicious stereotypes about homelessness and homeless people.