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Local paper faces closure

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A Toledo street newspaper will close unless it raises about $21,000 by the end of the year, its executive director said.

John Keegan, Toledo Streets Newspaper’s executive director, said his nonprofit group has enough money to publish the Dec. 1 issue of the monthly paper, but not the Jan. 1 one.

“My back is against the wall,” Mr. Keegan said. “Month-to-month funding is not really going to help us much. If I could get about $21,000 for three months [of operation], that would give me some breathing room.” 

To make matters worse, the term of the group’s executive board expires by Jan. 1, with no clear prospects of bringing in a new board unless there are funds to be found, he said.

The monthly paper bills itself as “covering community news, especially Toledo’s many people and organizations making positive change, plus news related to homelessness, poverty, and similar social justice issues.” It started in October, 2009, as a program of 1Matters, the group behind Tent City.

The paper’s annual budget is about $84,000, funded in part by city of Toledo grants, which have dropped about three times over the past three years from about $30,000 to about $10,000 a year, Mr. Keegan said. The rest comes from fund-raisers and smaller grants, which are not enough, he said.

“I think the community realizes what kind of loss this would be,” Ken Leslie, a leading advocate for the homeless and founder of 1Matters, said of the prospect of the newspaper’s closure. “I believe the community will rally together to assure its future prosperity and the prosperity of the vendors on the street who sell it.”

Contact Mike Sigov at sigov@theblade.com419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.

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