Went to the monthly meeting of vendors for the homeless newspaper, The Contributor. It was in the sanctuary of the Downtown Presbyterian Church, in all of its Egyptian Revival splendor.
Everyone was completely civil and kind to each other–well-behaved and tuned into the program. The people running the program were straightforward and respectful–not at all paternalistic or solicitous. Everyone acted like they were in church, even though there wasn’t a whisper of religion from the pulpit.
One-third of the vendors have obtained housing since starting their work selling the paper. A great bunch of people trying to get by and not just be on the dole.
I went in a bit burned out with the ubiquity of vendors on every corner, irritated when I have to pretend not to notice them because I cannot support every one. I came out with renewed appreciation for the vendors’ simple, earnest commitment and the wisdom of using the newspaper to improve homeless lives and keep their faces in front of us.
There, but for the grace of God, go I.