Finally!!!! I am beginning to see some grass roots campaigns for helping those less fortunate. I want to say I would be proud to stand behind each and every one of them, and hope to play a small part someday.
There are no huge yearly grants. No million dollar budgets. These people see a need and take from their own pocket to fill that need the best way they know how.
It is programs like this that truly need our help and support. Programs that are truly showing results, even if it is only a few people at a time or one person at a time.
My digest “Street Voice” was a grass roots campaign, and oh how I had visions of grandeur with it. Sad to say my visions soon became illusions. After five quarterly issues I decided to let it go. Some think it was over the money, as I paid for all materials out of my own pocket, which was my SSDI check, and I let them think that. I did receive a few monetary donations and I will be forever grateful for their faith in me and my dream.
Some think I burned myself out doing all the work myself from writing, to layout. Even printing, folding, then stapling together each volume. This I let them think too. Once I got my articles together I could produce 200 20 plus page copies in a matter of hours, and I did this every three months for over a year. I will admit it took three months to try and gather material.
My digest was well received from the community, the homeless community. I was constantly being asked when the next issue was coming out. I even had a small write up on the cover of the Santa Barbara News-Press, I can’t believe it wasn’t a mug shot or wanted poster. I also had no cover charge and gave them out freely. I was truly hoping to garner more interest in the writing aspect of it. I was looking for people to share their stories, whether good or bad. I was looking for artist or cartoonist to donate their work for a couple of issues. I even went as far as trying to start a vendor program like they have with real street papers. (Now you know why I called it a digest. Not one shred of real news in it, just stories of hope and success.)
I began my digest with an idea. An idea from Nancy McCradie. I didn’t know a darn thing about desktop publishing or printing for that matter. I bought a computer and a couple of books on how to start your own magazine. After moving from the shelter into my own apartment I purchased a printer/copier. I moved into my apartment on December 24th, 2009. The first issue was ready three weeks later.
I would like to start my digest again. Only this time we are going nationwide! I would like to start with stories from the grassroots campaign I mentioned earlier, including information on how to donate to these programs.
Homelessness is not going away over night, but with grassroots programs like the ones mentioned above a difference is in fact being made. Is this difference noticeable? The answer is yes! It is noticeable to those who made it and to those who were affected by it.
In this world of mega shelters, mega churches and million dollar budgets, why is it the minor things that seem to get the most results?