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Published: Friday, 5/25/2012

Homeless vendors sell newspapers in program


Homeless advocacy group 1Matters, Cherry Street Mission Ministries, and a downtown-improvement group are advancing what they call a "panhandling alternative" campaign.

The effort was announced at a news conference Thursday at Levis Square, in the heart of downtown.

Under the program, participating homeless vendors buy a newspaper, Toledo Streets, from 1Matters for a quarter and then sell it on the streets for $1. The exchange gives dignity and respect to the individual, along with a profit, said Dan Rogers, CEO of Cherry Street Mission Ministries.

A campaign to raise $35,000 to fund the project has been started by 1Matters, co-chaired by Mr. Rogers, a 1Matters board member, and Bill Thomas, executive director of the Downtown Toledo Improvement District. "I'm happy to be involved with this. I think it is a really worthwhile program," Mr. Thomas said.

The tabloid-format newspaper is a member of the North American Street Newspaper Association and the International Network of Street Papers. Toledo Streets is a nonprofit newspaper that operates through volunteers and covers a variety of issues, with a focus on homelessness and poverty. The flyers are available online at 1Matters.org or toledostreets.org.

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