New Signature was honored to receive the Good Neighbor Award from Street Sense at their Tenth Anniversary Gala Event held on October 10th, 2013 at the Carnegie Library in Washington, DC. Street Sense is a Washington, D.C.-based 16-page biweekly street newspaper that was founded in 2003. Its mission is to offer economic opportunities for people experiencing homelessness in our community through a newspaper that elevates voices and encourages debate on poverty and injustice. Street Sense vendors pay 50 cents for each paper to cover publishing costs and then distribute each paper for a suggested donation of $2.
For a decade, Street Sense has provided persons who are homeless immediate economic opportunity and a medium to tell their story, in their words. Today, nearly 130 vendors distribute their paper daily throughout the District of Columbia. Many also write for the paper, giving our readers an opportunity to experience the unfiltered face of homelessness. Twenty-six times a year, issue by issue, story by story, they give their readers a chance to gain a deeper, more accurate understanding of the issue of chronic homelessness, how it afflicts our community and what can be done to alleviate it. And on street corners across DC, their vendors and readers take advantage of the opportunity that Street Sense offers to find common ground between the lives of the housed and those who are homeless, each conversation doing its part to repair the fabric of the community.
Since 2009, New Signature has delivered more than $60,000 in probono services to Street Sense. In the words of Brian Carome, Executive Director of Street Sense, “Whether it has been on demand emergency services to keep our critical network running smoothly, or reliable strategic advice, New Signature consistently delivers a ‘roll up your sleeves and get to work’ response to our calls for assistance. Their commitment to giving back to this community is truly exemplary.”
At the gala New Signature’s CEO Christopher Hertz said, “Street Sense is a lean organization that has an enormous and direct impact on our local community by creating economic opportunities for people experiencing homelessness through their vendor program. Every day Street Sense vendors are improving their lives–getting other jobs and moving into housing. We are proud to help support these amazing individuals who exemplify the American spirit of hard work and entrepreneurialism.”
New Signature is truly honored that we have the opportunity to support Street Sense’s staff, volunteers and vendors in their hard work to create economic opportunities. Please watch the following video to learn more about how Street Sense offers economic opportunities for people experiencing homelessness in our community through a newspaper that elevates voices and encourages debate on poverty and injustice through the story of one of the vendors, Eric.