The cost of shelter makes it difficult for the homeless to focus on anything but making enough money to sleep under a roof, so their living is very day-to-day. Street papers can alleviate some of that stress by providing vendors with an opportunity for daily income, which helps pay for vendors’ shelter, food, and transportation. We also give bus passes to vendors who purchase a certain number of papers at Distribution.
With less pressure to find the money for shelter every night, vendors can invest their time and energy into finding a job or stable living place. I’ve seen vendors buy cars, find more permanent places to live, and get stable jobs so that they don’t need The Bridge anymore. That’s the goal. Street papers are not a solution, but a means to the end of homelessness.