This past Spring Street Sights made a strong comeback. A collaboration between homeless individuals, advocates, students from Brown University, and members of the non-profit People to End Homelessness, Street Sights aims to increase communication between service providers, government officials, and homeless individuals and provide a forum for self-expression. Thus far we have printed 4 issues of our newsletter-sized paper, ranging from 4-10 pages and after the success of our first issue, increased our distribution size to 600. Each month we distribute the paper to Rhode Island’s senators and representatives, all major news sources, and every major homeless shelter and service provider in the Providence area. The paper reemerged during a tumultuous time for Providence’s homeless population and through our coverage we have drawn attention to the closing of the largest homeless shelter in the state and have advocated for an emergency women’s shelter. We have set up an office in a space graciously donated by People to End Homeless and equipped it with donated computers, a digital camera, and a printer and have hosted a open mic/newspaper celebration for 40 guests.
This past summer, 4 Street Sights staff members attende the National Association of Street Newspapers in Portland, Oregon. We networked with street papers from around the country and Canada and recognized our role within the larger street newspaper movement.
Street Sights is based on an empowerment model, and we spend much of our time training current and formerly homeless individuals in reporting, photography, and layout design. Like most newly formed organizations, our process of development has been quite a learning experience, and each meeting of the group brings new understanding of what tasks lie ahead. As we look ahead at the coming year, we hope to increase the number of people actively involved in working on the paper, shift from newsletter format to newsprint and consider implementing a vendor model. Through our efforts we aim to uphold not just power of press but also the power of collaboration to make change and instill hope.
Check out: www.streetsights.org
Article in Brown Daily Herald about Street Sights: