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elfqueenofrohan
21-09--2006, 05:00 PM
You read the Big Issue! Awesome.. I work at the Amsterdam streetpaper.. so see first hand how important the streetpapers are.. thanks for buying one! :D

(slightly off-topic but what's their importance?)

velvet
21-09--2006, 05:13 PM
Made a new thread from this.

The selling of streetpapers give homeless a chance to earn some money in an honest way.. this way they don't have to beg, steal or be without any money.

There are streetpapers in a lot of countries.. there is an international organisation that keeps taps on them, the INSP:
http://www.street-papers.org/

I work as an assistant coordinator at the Amsterdam streetpaper, which exists for over 10 years now and is the biggest in the country.

Don't have much time now.. gotta run.. ask me anything you want about it :)

elfqueenofrohan
21-09--2006, 09:07 PM
oh okay! so in other words it's a good idea to buy the big issue and stuff? i've always just seen people selling it as an irritance in the past, and yet if i see someone sitting on the streets i'll give them money!
O.o

sensamelia
22-09--2006, 11:05 AM
i always buy the big issue as its a good read
me and my daughter at christmas make boxes up for our local big issue sellers and my huby takes them out
they are well appreciated and i feel as i can only do little to help its something

selling the big issue is often the first step to gaining back some self respect and earning power

velvet
22-09--2006, 11:12 AM
oh okay! so in other words it's a good idea to buy the big issue and stuff? i've always just seen people selling it as an irritance in the past, and yet if i see someone sitting on the streets i'll give them money!
O.o

Ok got some more time now so I can reply a bit more lengthy.

Yes, I think it is a good idea to sell the Big Issue. The Big Issue is a tad bit different than the Amsterdam streetpaper (which is called 'Z magazine). The difference is that The Big Issue is a national paper whereas the Z magazine is a local one. The Dutch streetpapers aren't organised in one organisation like the Big Issue is. However, the philosophy remains the same.

Homeless people buy the streetpaper from the distribution from the Big Issue and then sell it for the price that is printed on the cover in the streets. The profit they make from that is all theirs. This profit has to be split into money saved to buy new papers again and the rest. With the rest of the money they pay for their food, fags, beer, dogfood etc. Yes there are addicted streetpaper sellers and yes they will use (a part) of the money to buy their dope. Thing is, once you give money you do it to help that person not to steal or beg. It is no guarantee that they will use it for things you agree with. But there is more to buying the streetpaper than just giving a homeless person cash:

People who sell the streetpapers aren't per definition 'home-less'. Lots of'm have a place to sleep indoors, like shelters, temporary places with friends, squated houses or maybe even a small room. They are 'home-less' in the way of not having a steady, safe place to really call 'home'. Selling the paper not only gives them a bit of an income but also social interaction, a daily routine etc. Most of them would be in total isolation if it wasn't for selling the paper.

By the way.. never give a streetpapervendor money without taking a paper from him. Organisations like the Big Issue make their money without much outside help.. so they are totally dependant on how much papers there are sold. Ofcourse you are more than welcome to give a bit extra money, but whatever you do take the paper as well. This way you don't just help that one person but also the whole organisation. Plus if you don't take the paper the person selling it is kinda degraded to 'just a begger' again.

What I used to do was to buy the streetpaper from one specific person. Usually vendors go to the same spots and I just found it nice to make it a bit of a routine to buy the new edition after doing grocery shopping etc. If the person has a dog you can buy it a can of dogfood as well for example (but maybe ask the person first if he wants that).

Anyway.. again.. lots to tell about this.. feel free to ask anything.

velvet
22-09--2006, 11:17 AM
selling the big issue is often the first step to gaining back some self respect and earning power

Exactly.. you give them money for the paper but that isn't near as important as the sense of respect and power you give them. Most take real pride in 'their shop'.. even if it only consists out of that small bit of sidewalk.

Sweet of you to make them a package! What I notice is that they often need socks, (thermal/warm) underwear (like those bodyhugging undershirts). Scarfs would be ace as well. Lots of'm smoke as well so a pack of fags will be welcomed lots probably as well.. same goes for rainprotective gear. The homeless people in Amsterdam get swamped with the specific Christmas bread around the holidays, they get so many of'm that they sometimes just give it to the office.. hehe.. but it's so sweet what people do. I had this old lady phoning in the other day to ask if she please could knit some homeless people sweaters cause her grandchildren didn't want the handmade stuff anymore.. awwwww! Bless :)

sensamelia
22-09--2006, 11:21 AM
Exactly.. you give them money for the paper but that isn't near as important as the sense of respect and power you give them. Most take real pride in 'their shop'.. even if it only consists out of that small bit of sidewalk.

Sweet of you to make them a package! What I notice is that they often need socks, (thermal/warm) underwear (like those bodyhugging undershirts). Scarfs would be ace as well. Lots of'm smoke as well so a pack of fags will be welcomed lots probably as well.. same goes for rainprotective gear. The homeless people in Amsterdam get swamped with the specific Christmas bread around the holidays, they get so many of'm that they sometimes just give it to the office.. hehe.. but it's so sweet what people do. I had this old lady phoning in the other day to ask if she please could knit some homeless people sweaters cause her grandchildren didn't want the handmade stuff anymore.. awwwww! Bless :)
as im living on a budget my self and already involved with a family in ghana theres only so much i can do so making up a few boxes at christmas is just my way of helping
my daughter buys me the big issue every week and takes the vendor near her house a coffee and a sandwich
shes become a great friend

often thats all they need someone to take time and to care
i often end up with three or four copies of the same big issue as all my family are on the same wave length lol

Ms. Vee
22-09--2006, 11:23 AM
The thing that surprises people about the Big Issue is that it's actually a pretty good read! And more interesting than a lot of the crap you'll find in WHSmith... I've gotta admit, once or twice I've had a tear in my eye after reading some of the stories and poems that the homeless people have submitted. Some of them are pretty moving.

Although, I remember last year in about April I saw an Eastern European woman selling the Big Issue whilst wearing a Santa hat. That was quite a sad sight in the middle of April.

velvet
22-09--2006, 11:37 AM
as im living on a budget my self and already involved with a family in ghana theres only so much i can do so making up a few boxes at christmas is just my way of helping

yeah.. and ya know the weird thing is that the less money people seem to have (people on wellfare, students, low paid jobs etc) the more 'feel' they have for people in situations worse than theirs. I hardly ever hear something about wealthy people doing something nice like that.

And it really doesn't matter what's in a package like that.. it's all about the thought and the gesture :)

World needs more people like you!

staralfur
25-09--2006, 08:44 PM
yeah i always read the issue it's really interesting.. went for coffee with the dude i get it from as well earlier today.. i became quite good friends with a lot of them cause i worked on the streets fundraising all summer.. and they're out there with you all day so you get to know them..

thing is once you become 'mates' you find it hard to carry on giving like you were before - i buy him a drink and the issue.. but couldn't give him stuff cause it'd feel weird, i don't think he really wants hand outs from me

one thing that annoys me is people who have an issue with homeless people being 'addicts' - as though people who aren't homeless are never addicted to anything!! most people drink and/or take drugs.. or are addicted to something to some degree.. just because these people struggle to afford their drugs/alcohol/etc doesn't make them any worse than 'normal' people !

xx