The Cleveland Street Chronicle has released its special holiday wrapping paper edition as part of Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) “Wrap Up Homelessness” campaign and is now available for purchase. Instead of stories, this special issue is filled with 16 pages of holiday wrapping paper designed by current and formerly homeless local artists.
The Cleveland Street Chronicle is produced quarterly by NEOCH—an organization that aims to empower and give opportunity to people who are homeless. The newspaper is almost entirely written, distributed, and promoted by individuals who are or have been homeless.
All copies are sold for $2 and individuals can purchase a copy through the first of the year from vendors (people are or have been homeless) and at West Side Market. Copies are also sold at 3-19 Coffee locations in Ohio City and Shaker Heights, Mac’s Backs-Books, Upcycle Parts Shop, Cleveland Trade Works, A touch of Rain Nail Spa, Unbar, and Loganberry Books. Copies can also be ordered online in bundles of 20 or 50.
The “Wrap Up Homelessness” campaign began last year after NEOCH director of strategic initiatives Molly Martin suggested it to the Street Chronical to give a creative outlet for homeless people to create designs and earn an income for the holidays. She says she got the idea from The Contributor, a street newspaper in Nashville like the Cleveland Street Chronicle.
Martin says about 10,000 copies will circulate throughout the community and help vendors get through the holiday season. This year there are 12 vendors selling copies, in addition to the businesses. Due to the risks of contracting COVIF-19, older and high-risk vendors will not be participating in selling this season.
“A lot of people sell the paper because it is a great way to interact with the public and have a side job, so I know those who are not selling it right now are impacted in that way,” Martin says.
Martin also expressed concerns with less foot traffic and tourism coming to the West Side Market because of the pandemic. However, she says she still believes vendors will be successful in selling.
Kim Goodman, who serves as the newspaper manger and is also a vender, says, “COVID-19 has changed how we live, but the holidays aren’t cancelled because of it.”
People who are interested in becoming a vendor for the Cleveland Street Chronicle visit NEOCH and meet with Goodman. They must go through training, in which Goodman explains the vendor contract, pricing, and places to sell the newspaper. Vendors are also expected to write an article for the newspaper before they get started.
Vendors then receive a badge and 10 free copies to get started. After they sell those, they can buy additional copies for 25 cents and sell them for $1.25 each. The special holiday edition, however, sells for $2 because it is printed in full color.