The participants of writer’s workshop at Streetwise magazine are very excited to know that INSP conference is taking place in United States this year. At one of the workshops we discussed the importance of street papers and international networks and shared our thoughts about this event.
I am so glad to hear that the International conference of street papers is coming to the United States. Street papers are so helpful because they can help people who are down and out to build themselves up with dignity so they don’t need to beg for handouts. They can serve other purposes, however. In my case I am using Streetwise as a way to supplement my retirement income. As a senior citizen it is difficult to find any regular work. I am also a writer for Streetwise, and this gives me a chance to share my life experience with others.
The motto of Streetwise, the Chicago street papers is “Streetwise exists so panhandling doesn’t need to”.
It is an honor for United States to host the INSP conference in the city of Seattle. We have been privileged to welcome delegates from all over the world. This is where all the people involved in street papers from all over the world can get together to discuss common issues and exchange ideas that will help to solve effectively problems of street people regardless of their location, nationality or culture. We all would like to be informed about matters that affect our wellbeing and a lot of local papers are not concerned with the street people opinion or affairs. Street papers represent the unheard voices and carry news that affect the little unheard population. Many care not to hear about the homeless and the voiceless people but the INSP conference is one way of knowing that we are here and we will work with others to establish a bigger and better base. United States have their own problems with police killing innocent people. Other places may have problems with terrorism, refugees and drinking water. We all have problems, but INSP conference is a time and place where we share for a solution. We are not only here, but we are here to stay working together to build a bigger, stronger network of street papers.
It is important for all alike that street magazines and street papers be relevant because they inspire those who might be at risk of being homeless to become their own boss, not just another homeless magazine.
At streetwise in Chicago not only do we help to inspire individuals to set their own goals, but also to provide housing to those who need it and Job Transitional Program.
Overall as a community we need to do a better job in understanding that street vendors empower themselves to become entrepreneurs in their own business field.
When I first heard of Streetwise I thought it was just another magazine based on homelessness, but my experience that I had gained in selling Streetwise is that it provides the combination of being your own boss setting up your hours and through the entrepreneurial spirit save enough money to buy more Streetwise magazines while building your own business. Other countries outside United States might not have the same opportunity to start your own business.
I have been selling Streetwise for almost 10 years. I have met really nice people during this time.
I remember that few years ago INSP conference was held in Chicago. I remember that delegates of the conference from other countries visited vendors at their locations and there was one woman from London who interviewed me.
Homelessness is different in different countries. In some countries children have to work and don’t even have shoes, people are sick because they have no good food. Street papers vendors might have different problems, but the common issues is that the life conditions of all of them have to be improved.