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combining entertainment and social
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THE COLD W
homeless hotspots lead to digital option (pg. 8)
ISSUES * INSIGHT * IMPACT volume 11 issue 1 distributed by and for the homeless and disadvantaged
the point needs you support (pg. 23)
St. Louis Office for Developmental Disability Resources 2334 Olive Street * St. Louis * MO * 63103-1531 www.stldd.org DD Resourcesâ€™ Horizon Club is one of four in-house programs provided to individuals with developmental disabilities. The Horizon Club is available 24 hours a day as a drop-in center, not a shelter. However, there are (8) transitional housing units available off-site.
Horizon Club offers: Membership and guest services to people without homes, especially those with disabilities. Showers and access to a washer/dryer. Computer games, internet access, satellite television and lockers. Access to an on-site social worker.
Horizon Club 202 N. 23rd Street St. Louis, MO 63103 (314) 436-1733 For more information about Horizon Club, contact Candace Ulrich, Horizon Club Director, at email@example.com
whatsupstl.com volume 11:1
Thank you St. Louis and beyond for your tremendous support during our recent fundraising campaign. We raised almost $6,830 in 70 days and recruited 18 new volunteers! $1.00
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whats up MAGAZINE
HELPING PEOPLE HELP THEMSELVES SINCE 2002
Donate, advertise, volunteer and subscribe. These are just a few of the many ways businesses and individuals can support our work. All support is greatly appreciated, and contributions are tax-deductible. firstname.lastname@example.org / 314.241.7744
Whats Up Magazine & The Homeless Empowerment Project 906 Olive Street Suite PH9 Saint Louis, Missouri 63101
Changing Lives: One Magazine At A Time volume 11:1 whatsupstl.com
whats up magazine
& The Homeless Empowerment Project Empowering St. Louis since 2002
Vendors Edward Little, Kathy K., La Maar Williams, Laura Thomas, Al Spinks, Lloyd Anderson, Clifton Sims, Paul Jackson, Pete Butler, Kelvin Dawson, Gail Chambers, Demitres Graves, Greg Brown, Tom Reed, Diane Crudup, Mike Johnson, George Morehouse & Brian McDonald. Editor-in-Chief Zekita Tucker Founder/Program Director Jay Swoboda Contributors/Volunteers RJ Koscielniak, Annie Wentz, Ryan Albritton, Rebecca Clendenen, Kate Essig, Jahnna Harvey, Hilary Hitchcock, Kristen Weber, Laura Marty, Sarah McCabe, Darrell Page Sr., Terry Austin Sr., Vladimir Noskov, Rachel Brandt, Kate Ewing, Raju Mukhi and hopefully you! Development & Events Coordinator Amy Gonwa Volunteer Coordinator Call (314) 241-7744 to find out how you can get involved! Printed By KK Stevens Publishing - www.kkspc.com Magazine Layout: Bootstraps Design The paper’s mission aims to alleviate miscommunication between communities by educating the public about housing and poverty issues, and by giving the homeless a voice in the public forum. Whats Up also informs the homeless of shelter and occupational assistance, and acts as a creative self-help opportunity for those individuals who wish to participate.
Advertising Sales For rates, media kits, and deadlines contact us: (314) 241-7744 or email@example.com
All correspondence AND support can be sent to: Whats Up Magazine 906 Olive St., Suite PH9 Saint Louis, Missouri 63101 For information call: (314) 241-7744 or firstname.lastname@example.org Member of the North American Street Newspaper Association [www.nasna.org & www.streetnewsservice.org] Whats Up Magazine is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Contact us to find out how you can support our efforts! Submissions: All articles should be sent to the attention of the
Homeless Speaker Series Contact the Homeless Empowerment Project @ 314-241-7744 for more information.
editors at the address above. For further submission info, visit our website or contact us. We may edit submissions for clarity or length. Whats Up needs writers, photographers, graphic designers, marketers, administrative assistants, editors, and grant writers. Thanks to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, Bascom Foundation, The McPheeter Family, The Stern Family, Raj Sandhu & Mary Henry, Amos Harris, EHOC, Sadhu Vaswani Mission, City of St. Louis Dept. of Human Services, Biggs Family Foundation, Sam Hamacher, WU’s Dept. of Student Activities, Justine Petersen Housing, NASNA, INSP, BISS Magazine and all the homeless vendors for all the time and energy that they have shared. Articles that appear in Whats Up reflect the opinion and perspective of the author and not the editors of Whats Up. Articles should not be construed as attempts to aid or hinder any legislative body.
whatsupstl.com volume 11:1
Volume 11 Issue 1
[ contents ]
YOUR BUSINESS AND
THE COMMUNITY IN MIND
6 vendor page FIND OUT WHO IS SELLING WHATS UP - KUDOS TO ED LITTLE, WHO WON THE KEITH AWARD! 7 editor’s note A SHOT IN THE ARM KEEPS THIS MAGAZINE ALIVE. WHAT ELSE CAN WE ACCOMPLISH? 8 homeless hot spots
WHATS UP AD SIZE
QUARTERLY FULL PRICE
ANNUAL 15% OFF
¼ Page ½ Page Whole Page
$ 75.00 $ 150.00 $ 300.00
$255.00 $510.00 $1,020.00
CALL (314) 241-7744 OR CONTACT ADVERTISING@WHATSUPSTL.COM FOR MORE DETAILS
A CONTROVERSIAL TECHNOLOGY CAMPAIGN AT SXSW HIGHLIGHTS A NEW STREET PAPER CONCEPT 10 release to rent ST. VINCENT DE PAUL CRIMINAL JUSTICE MINISTRY HELPS PREVIOUSLY HOMELESS VETERANS 14 homeless veterans AS THE CONFLICTS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WIND DOWN, THE NUMBER OF HOMELESS VETERANS IS INCREASING AT AN ALARMING RATE 18 grassroots against poverty COMMUNITY WOMAN AGAINST HARDSHIP TACKLES POVERTY AND HOMELESS IN ST. LOUIS 20 spare some time
Keep in Touch!!! If you’ve got a comment or suggestion, we’d love to hear from you. Here’s how to contact us:
Whats Up Magazine 906 Olive St. Suite PH9 Saint Louis, Missouri 63101 email@example.com Also, if you know any group or organization that may be interested in this magazine, contact us!
WHATS UP VENDOR PAUL JACKSON IS A FIXTURE ON SLU’S CAMPUS LOOKING FOR A HAND UP 26 camp out: finding home EXHIBIT AT LAUMEIER HIGHLIGHTS HOMELESS [ concept ] Whats Up Magazine serves as a community-based media source. Our content combines social awareness and entertainment in a way that encourages the population of St. Louis to be socially conscious. Whats Up is also a human service provider aiding the homeless and economically disadvantaged by offering transitional employment. The homeless and disadvantaged take part in sales, advertising, and production of this publication. Street vendors are given 10 free issues, and then pay 25 cents for additional copies. We are always looking for enthusiastic people dedicated to our causes of encouraging awareness and providing opportunities to the disadvantaged. volume 11:1 whatsupstl.com
The Vendors of Whats Up Magazine
WORKING NOT BEGGING The Keith Award
LA MAAR WILLIAMS VENDOR #384
AL SPINKS VENDOR #421
LAURA THOMAS VENDOR #414
MIKE JOHNSON VENDOR #709
ED LITTLE VENDOR #682
ED LITTLE IS THE VENDOR AWARD WINNER FOR PURCHASING 520 COPIES OF THE LAST WHATS UP MAGAZINE ISSUE. ED IS AN ESTABLISHED LEADER ON THE WHATS UP TEAM. THIS IS HIS FOURTH TIME RECEIVING THE KEITH AWARD - RECOGNIZING DEPENDABLE AND DEDICATED VENDORS IN MEMORY OF KEITH WHITFIELD. CONGRATULATIONS ON THE AWARD!
SAVING UP FOR A RAINY DAY?
OUT OF WORK?
GREG BROWN VENDOR #734
KELVIN DAWSON VENDOR #683
GAIL CHAMBERS VENDOR #684
CLIFTON SIMS VENDOR #145
KATHY K. VENDOR #591
KEITH AWARD RUNNER-UP!
DEMITRIES GRAVES VENDOR #706
PETE BUTLER VENDOR #719
PLEASE ENCOURAGE VENDORS TO WEAR THE PROPER BADGE, PERMIT AND REPORT ANY PROBLEM VENDORS IMMEDIATELY TO (314) 241-7744.
PAUL JACKSON VENDOR #698
LLOYD ANDERSON VENDOR #703
GEORGE MOREHOUSE VENDOR #634 DIANE CRUDUP VENDOR #655 BRIAN MCDONALD VENDOR #382
for questions or concerns regarding vendors, please contact the office @ 314-241-7744 or firstname.lastname@example.org
to Vendor WHERE YOUR 75 cents:18Directly cents: Printing Costs Services DOLLAR GOES... 5 cents:2Vendor cents: Administration
WHATS UP MAGAZINE IS BOTH AN ALTERNATIVE MEDIA SOURCE AND AN ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY FOR THOSE IN NEED OF ONE. VENDORS PURCHASE COPIES OF THE MAGAZINE FROM WHATS UP FOR A QUARTER AND SELL THE MAGAZINE IN THE CITY OF ST. LOUIS FOR $1 ON THE STREETS FOR THEIR PROFIT. DON’T SUPPORT PANHANDLERS! REFER HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS TO US @ 314-241-7744!
ASK FOR THE BADGE!
Vendor Rules for the Streets
Whats Up Magazine vendors are instructed to adhere to the following codes of conduct: * Prominently wear and present a vendor badge and permit while selling the magazine. * Sell the magazine for no more than its $1.00 cover price.
* Refrain from asking for donations without a magazine or with just one magazine. * Avoid obstructing public walkways or selling near any stadiums or Metro property. * Do not follow customers more than 10 feet from contact or approach people in vehicles. * Be clean and sober when selling the magazine * All checks must be made payable to the vendor if vendor is to get any part of the amount. 6
whatsupstl.com volume 11:1
[ director’s corner]
thank you. we are inspired. wow. Looking at 10 years of publishing this magazine last fall, I began to get a bit overwhelmed with the prospect of starting another 10 years. I was done and I wanted to throw in the towel. Whether it was guilt or divine intervention, I decided I should let the community decide our fate. And decide you did!
Words can’t describe the feeling experienced by our volunteer team as your donations began to roll in last December. Friends, family and total strangers made gifts from $5 to $1,000 to help us reach and exceed our goal. It couldn’t have been done without social media, The Riverfront Times and friends of the organization spreading the word. The reaction to the news that we might close down operations was varied but the sense of community ownership and the importance of our unique role was echoed by many as they made their voices heard. I felt a bit guilty accepting the money not knowing if I was up
to the challenge but it has more than inspired me. More than 18 community members spoke up and voiced their interest in writing, editing, fundraising, vendor support and event planning. I never was alone in this effort with countless volunteers over the years but my own poor planning and organizing made the yoke feel very heavy at times. I look forward to the challenges ahead as we build up this fine establishment more and more in the years to come. I want to communicate a vision of greater vendor ownership and participation with more community engagment and support. I hope to foster increased understanding of the issues related to housing and poverty and encourage collaboration among ALL of us to work toward real strategies that address the root causes - no more Band-Aid solutions. Don’t give up - Make a difference! Jay Swoboda, Founder/Director
How YOU Can With Housing & Homeless Issues!
Give a Hand UP... not a Hand OUT. Support HandUP for Hope. Give your cash & change to agencies that build change in the lives of those in need.
To read more and see a listing of local service-providers helping those struggling with homelessness and poverty, visit
or HandUP for Hope on facebook. HandUP for Hope 720 Olive Street, Suite 450 St. Louis, MO 63101 314-335-2307
Please support this great community resource for homeless cats with your talent, time or treasure!
Our Mission: HandUP for Hope is a public awareness campaign in Downtown St. Louis that educates residents, workers and visitors about the potential harm of giving to panhandlers. HandUP for Hope instead encourages giving to local service-providers that are able to provide necessary resources for individuals to build lives of self-sufficiency.
Get Involved - Make a Difference volume 11:1 whatsupstl.com
street papers go digital “We’ r e fighting homelessness by reinventing Street Newspapers,” tweeted global ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) enthusiastically last week. But then they explained the details of the ‘reinvention’: 4G hotspots in the form of homeless people. The idea did not go down well with many attendees of the SXSW music and technology conference in Austin, Texas, where the ‘charitable experiment’ was launched. Within minutes, it triggered a Twitter storm, and by the time the global media caught up with the debate, BBH announced the end of the project on its website, saying “this is a test program that was always scheduled to end today.” Although there cer tainly is reason to question the morality of presenting homeless people as products (vendors wear T-shirts saying ‘I am a 4G Hotspot’), an overlooked issue is that the initiative is charity, rather than self-help. BBH launched the Homeless Hotspots project by saying 8
whatsupstl.com volume 11:1
While technology specialists, brand experts and journalists debate the controversial ‘Homeless Hotspots’ initiative of a global ad agency, INSP’s latest digital project proves that the street paper model is very much alive... words/pics www.street-papers.org Street News Service
BHH hopes to “modernize the street paper model.” Thankfully, street papers worldwide are not suffering from the decline in print sales to the extent Since the first street paper launched 20 mainstream outlets are. INSP research years ago, the model has been based into global street paper circulation in 2010 on working, not begging. INSP Executive showed a 10 percent increase in street Director Lisa Maclean says of the initiative: paper sales since 2009, and the movement “BBH’s interest in supporting homeless continues to grow. people is really commendable. But it misses a couple of crucial elements specific to the This, of course, does not mean that there street paper model. Homeless vendors is no need for innovation. In order to buy their copies for half the cover price, retain audiences and find new readers in then sell them on and keep the profits. the future, street papers, like other print The buy and sell element is crucial in the media, need to keep producing quality process, as it is the transaction that makes journalism as well as adapt to technology the vendor a salesman, not the recipient changes. However, in doing so, they face a unique problem: Unlike mainstream press of a donation.” who can sell pure digital access via online She continued: “Street papers offer payments, it is essential for street papers vendors not just an income, but a sense to retain the vendor transaction in which of self-respect and dignity. At the same customers buy a physical product from a time, they put a face on homelessness by seller on the street. offering quality, independent journalism.” INSP will soon launch an innovative Recognizing the decline in print media, project to address this issue: INSP Digital. that they are “trying a bit of charitable innovation” by giving free 4G products to homeless vendors to sell them on.
It enables street vendors to offer their customers two options - print and digital - priced identically. The digital version is sold on a card, each one carrying a unique QR code that can be scanned on compatible devices. Readers can then read their digital edition on their smartphone, tablet or computer.
“The buy and sell element is crucial in the process, as it is the transaction that makes the vendor a salesman, not the recipient of a donation.”
Whats Up Magazine Goes Digital & Green!
The launch of the world’s first digital street paper pilot is scheduled for July in the UK. If successful, the digital model could support many more street papers around the world. With a global street paper readership already in excess of 6 million, the concept has scope to become one of the world’s largest paid digital media platforms. As an umbrella organization for 122 street papers on six continents, INSP doesn’t just help the homeless - it helps the homeless to help themselves. Since 1994, more than 200,000 vendors have earned a living and changed their lives through selling street papers. By adapting the street paper model to changing technologies, we aim to provide this opportunity for many more people who will need a hand up in the years to come. BHH and INSP are now in contact about the possibility of working together to innovate the street paper model. INSP Executive Director Lisa Maclean says: “We have been encouraged by BBH’s response to our communication with them about this and look forward to a constructive and positive conversation, moving forward.” Street New Service is an innovative online news agency that brings together the best of street paper journalism from around the world. INSP also works with media partners Reuters and Inter Press Service (IPS).
street papers provide refugue, income and dignity
Please scan the QR Code
Whats Up Magazine is a member of The North American Street Newspaper Association. NASNA exists to support and build effective, self-sustaining street newspapers that promote power and opportunity for people living in poverty. NASNA wor ks closely with the International Network of Street Newspapers, which represents street papers in other parts of the globe. As a sister organization to the INSP, NASNA works to build and promote the street newspaper movement in North America. The mission of the Nor th American Street Newspaper Association is to support a street newspaper movement that creates and upholds journalistic and ethical standards while promoting selfhelp and empowerment among people living in poverty.
AND Donate $1 to Your Vendor! volume 11:1 whatsupstl.com
RELEASE TO RENT
The author with a successful St. Vincent de Paul R2RV client getting keys to his truck.
words: sarah mccabe / pic: SVDP
Criminal Justice Ministry & Release to Rent Veterans Help Previously Homeless Veterans Start Over
“It is inspiring
to see how the commitment of the participants paired with a dedicated team of case managers can set off a chain of really positive things in people’s lives.”
10 whatsupstl.com volume 11:1
Walter is a 60-year old recovering drug addict who has stabilized his life with the help of the Criminal Justice Ministry, known more commonly as CJM. Walter has now balanced his life to the point where he can live independently in the community. According to Walter, having the support of an intensive case-management team at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) was a key factor in his decisions about what kind of life he wanted to lead. When he came into the program, he was struggling to get sober and to rebuild his life after years of substance abuse. By having a supportive team holding him accountable to his goals, he has been able to reconnect with family and is living life with more peace than he ever expected.
with CJM to help him address issues related to substance abuse, extreme anger and emotional distress that he has grappled with since childhood. Trey has very little family suppor t, and in recent years started selling drugs. After 18 months of incarceration, Trey found himself homeless and struggling to stay sober. As part of his treatment plan with a transitional housing program at SVDP, he is attending anger management classes, seeing a counselor and is working an AA program to maintain sobriety. Trey is currently working full time with a local landscaping company, and is volunteering part time to care for animals in a shelter. He has worked very hard to refocus his life and to develop a sense of purpose. Trey has formed a life changing relationship with the CJM case management team that highlights the importance of programs that focus on meeting people where they are. CJM believes that the key to lasting change is working to motivate and encourage people to identify their own strengths and to develop personal goals.
Trey, a 31-year-old Army veteran who served two combat tours, is now working
“He never thought it could happen to him,” but Ted found himself in prison
Four previously homeless men - Walter, Trey, Ted and Bobby - all have different stories to tell, with one powerful, lifesaving connection in common: the Criminal Justice Ministry of St. Vincent de Paul of St. Louis.
after a nonviolent crime involving a close friend. Ted’s story is one that is hard to believe: he’s a well-educated ‘man of the arts,’ as he calls himself. He does not have much in common with most other program participants in the CJM housing programs. But he has the same uphill climb as others as he overcomes the myriad of barriers associated with having a criminal background. The CJM team is working closely with Ted to regain a sense of identity and inspire him to support other participants who have had very difficult life experiences. Ted is committed to finding his way back to a place that is familiar and comfortable for him as he focuses on his goals.
choices that will lead to their ability to due to issues resulting from a slow integrate back into their communities and economy, unemployment, or any number to participate fully in the things that bring of unexpected, short-term family crises. them happiness. The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul of “I am amazed at the strength and resilience Saint Louis was established in 1845. of the participants that I work with at SVDP. For more information and to learn about It is inspiring to see how the commitment personal success stories, please visit the of the participants paired with a dedicated Society’s website, www.svdpstlouis.org, team of case managers can set off a chain or contact Robert C. Vogel at robertv@ of really positive things in people’s lives,” svdpstl.org, or call (314) 881-6035. stated Sarah McCabe, coordinator for the Release to Rent Veterans program (R2RV), one of the five transitional housing programs at SVDP. sarah mccabe works as Coordinator for the
SVDP operates and manages 23 programs, all of which are part of three primary Bobby is a 49-year-old who still doesn’t services: Crisis Intervention and Support, sleep in a bed, even though he now lives in Housing and Homelessness Prevention, a fully furnished, one-bedroom apartment and the Criminal Justice Ministry.
Release to Rent Veterans program at St. Vincent de Paul. She is currently working with a group to open a shelter for homeless youth in St. Louis called The Point. (See story on page 23 for more details.)
There are five transitional housing programs at St. Vincent de Paul. The programs focus on people with a variety of barriers to living independently. that is a part of a housing program. He says he’s just not comfortable sleeping in a bed like most people do, after having to sleep on shelter floors and on the streets for so many years. Bobby is now taking mental health medication and is at the point where he is re-engaging his local church and his building bridges with his previously estranged family. There are five transitional housing programs at SVDP. The programs focus on people with a variety of barriers to living independently. The transitional housing programs focus on people experiencing homelessness, people living with mental health issues, people exiting the criminal justice system and veterans experiencing difficulty living independently due to one or more of these circumstances. Each housing team consists of case managers who work creatively to meet the needs of program participants. The program’s goal is that people will develop skills to make
In addition to the housing programs, SVDP provides utility assistance to thousands of families, operates or facilitates 83 food pantries, and offers donated autos to families in need at an affordable cost (Vinnie’s Autos). Through a partnership with an area drug company, SVDP is able to provide no-cost prescription medications to people with no access to health insurance. The Council Office serves as the area support center to 143 chapters (known as conferences). These conferences offer and facilitate direct operational assistance, serving Saint Louis County, the City of Saint Louis, Saint Charles County, Franklin County, and the surrounding nine counties of eastern Missouri.
3108 Morganford in Tower Grove South
Almost 2,900 dedicated Vincentian members serve the chronic poor, the ‘new poor of the middle class’, and individuals and families who are temporarily struggling volume 11:1 whatsupstl.com
GOOD IDEAS FOR CITIES
words/pic alex ihnen 846 individuals showed up to hear from seven teams tasked with designing creative solutions to problems in St. Louis. That number may be the single more important thing about the GOOD Ideas for Cities event on March 8, 2012 at the Contemporary Art Museum. St. Louis responded, and while some see the event as the start of something new, it’s more accurate to see it as another indicator that the St. Louis community is changing, that civic engagement is on the rise.
IF YOU HAVE A MIND FOR ACTIVISM OR THE ARTS JOIN THE WHATS UP MAGAZINE STAFF OF WRITERS, ARTISTS, AND PHOTOGRAPHERS 12 whatsupstl.com volume 11:1
Hundreds showed up because dozens of organizations across the region have been organizing to build awareness and engage residents in new ways. nextSTL along with Urban Review STL served as media partners, alongside more established media. The Mayor’s Vanguard Cabinet was well represented - not just in attendance, but on the seven design teams; and groups from Metro to Trailnet have increasingly focused on public engagement. To pull off an event like this, a city has to already have a lot going for it. And yet the first question after the event is: “Will action follow? Regardless of whether that happens, action will follow. GOOD Ideas for Cities is focused on action, and one presented design will be chosen by GOOD and the teams to push ahead and attempt to become reality. But whether that happens or not, action will follow. Perhaps Maggie Hales personified this action when she stated on St. Louis on the Air that she’s personally been inspired by the event to work more creatively within East West Gateway and to see through some of these ideas to reality. If the GOOD event were to serve only as this sort of inspiration, it would be well worth it. The payoff is going to be future collaboration and efforts that we are not aware of today. The St. Louis community needs 846 people to attend events like this so that we have 200 people volunteer to plant community gardens with Gateway Greening and so that 40 people
will show up at the next community meeting about a proposed historic preservation district, so that four people show up at a Land Reutilization Authority meeting. A number of these comments mirror what was said on St. Louis Public Radio, and you can listen to the podcast to learn more. Through this experience, East West Gateway is now better connected to Metro, KETC and individual members of the community. This is the case with each and every team. The local leaders are an impressive list, which spans the spectrum from St. Patrick’s Center to Lambert International Airport, Washington University, Mayor Slay’s office, Great Rivers Greenway, the Partnership for Downtown and many more. Teams themselves were empowered to make the city a better place. Check out the individual team profiles online at www.nextstl.com. The Post-Dispatch and St. Louis Beacon both covered the event and have good roundups. Brief descriptions from memory of each proposal and additional information are available. Updates and additional information is available at the GOOD Ideas for Cities - St. Louis Facebook page.
SEE MORE CONTENT ONLINE @
FOLLOW ON TWITTER
MEET THE GOOD IDEAS FOR CITIES TEAM: ACTIVATE THE CITY Member names: Stan Chisholm, Dayna Kriz, Regina Martinez, Kevin McCoy, Mallory Nezam, Carlie Trosclair, Daniel Waxler Why did you come together as a group? How do you know each other? Many of us have worked together in some creative capacity, so we are first and foremost connected through our commitment to developing community through the arts. Many of our practices engage with the idea of “public.” We all want to see St. Louis become the best that it can be, and we want that to happen from the bottom up. Describe the challenge you were assigned to. What’s your plan of attack in tackling it? There’s a twenty to thirty pecent high school graduation rate among students of St. Louis city public schools. Our challenge is “How do we motivate and empower more local high school students to graduate?” Our approach so far has been to pick the brains of our urban leaders and other local experts, and then reconvene as a group to process our information and consider creative approaches. It’s been important to us to continue to bear in mind our strengths and unique arsenal as creatives. What do you think are the biggest challenges that St. Louis faces as a city? The city mindset does not support cross-cultural pollination. There seems to be a disease of tunnel vision, old politics and the alienation amongst creatives, neighborhoods, and cultural backgrounds. These issues are ruining the very fibers of diversity. Amid this history of segregation, we haven’t had politicians who have been strong enough to be honest about this so the city can start investing in projects/programs/organizations/institutions that are bridges between communities. Disinterest in change and a culturally, systemically perpetuated feeling of disentitlement. What do you think are St. Louis’ greatest assets? The city is a blank canvas. We have space to accommodate and an audience to captivate. The immediate nature of St Louis’ social fabric: small enough to mean something tangible for an individual’s life and big enough to gain the nation’s attention. It’s a beautiful mix of scaling. Being here forces you to work your ass off. Respect is earned, not given. If you look in ANY field, you have to show and prove your worth. It’s something you cannot fake because people can surely pick it up. In that regard, it makes us better designers, creative developers, sensitive urban planners, and forces us to take ownership in anything we do. We have ambitious humans. We are all tired of waiting. What’s your vision for St. Louis 10 years from now? Five years from now?
nextSTL first launched in 2004 as urbanSTL, nextSTL has become the pre-eminent online hub for those who want to know more about the St. Louis community. The forum has emerged as the go-to source for issues current and critical to St. Louis
A new hub of creativity and ideation. There are interesting places to go and different types of experiences to have all over the city that are representative of St. Louis’ rich cultural landscape. More foot traffic and better public transit! More diverse neighborhoods. Opportunity distributed more evenly. REPRINTED FROM ALIVE MAGAZINE’S ALIVE AROUND TOWN BLOG. www.alivemag.com volume 11:1 whatsupstl.com
words collaborative sns content
the long road home ( ) images REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov
veterans around the globe struggle to avoid poverty after their service
ABOUT THIS STORY: In the past year, street papers across Europe and America reported on the struggle ex-soldiers face when they return to civilian life. After service in Iraq and Afghanistan, both post-traumatic stress and the global recession increase the risk of veterans ending up on the streets. SNS detected this worrying global trend and worked with editors from multiple street papers to establish the scale of the problems and access those affected on the ground.
and Afghanistan given trends already evident in the job market. “That population, that young population, has the highest unemployment rate of any of our veteran populations, and it’s much higher than the overall unemployment rate. So we’re very concerned about this group,” she said. According to Angell, joblessness among these younger veterans is running around 11.5 percent — and higher still among women vets.
Jobs are crucial, since officials and homeless experts agree that although a variety of factors make some veterans more vulnerable Tens of thousands of Western troops will leave Iraq and to personal crisis than the wider populace, the main reason they Afghanistan and make the journey home over the next couple of end up on the street is not drink or mental difficulties — it is years. Those who then leave the military will face an even more poverty. perilous journey – the road back into civilian society, where weak economic growth has made it increasingly difficult to get work. The United States pulled the last of its combat troops from Iraq This is a road that has already led to poverty and even to in late 2011. In Afghanistan, NATO is training 350,000 Afghan homelessness for thousands of veterans who traveled it in better police and soldiers to take over when the last foreign troops leave economic times. Those who will now follow in their footsteps will Afghanistan by 2014. be entering the mainstream amid increased risk of recession in Europe and the United States, and stubbornly high unemployment. We are far from seeing the true wave of people Government agencies in the United States, Britain, Canada and who will become homeless other nations that support those who have served are braced for the influx of new veterans. Officials are implementing new There are still relatively few of this new breed of veteran in the programs to help ease the transition from the military to civilian homeless population. But according to Neil Donovan, executive life. The great unknown, though, is how the economy will fare in director of the U.S. National Coalition of the Homeless, those months ahead. on the path to homelessness are still at the early stages of that transition. Dr. Susan Angell, executive director of the Veterans Homeless Initiative at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, said the VA “This is my 33rd year working in homeless services, so I have will be keeping a concerned eye on those returning from Iraq seen Vietnam veterans, I have seen other veterans,” and “I kind 14 whatsupstl.com volume 11:1
”What tends to happen is your have a year’s worth of nightmares and then your wife leave...three years down the road, the soon-to-be-homeless veteran slides below the poverty line and the risk of homelessness becomes acute.” of have a good sense of how long it takes to come back home government issue - that’s the American people’s issue. It’s not up and spiral down. And it takes a while. It doesn’t happen in a year, to government to hire every single veteran. It’s really up to the and it doesn’t happen in two years,” he said. private sector to join forces with that and make those employment opportunities available.” “What tends to happen is you have a year’s worth of nightmares, and then your wife leaves,” he said, “And then you have another Even though there are relatively few young veterans in the year of nightmares, and the Oxycontin or the Percocet that you’re homeless population, there are already signs of potential trouble. on stop working because it’s a narcotic that will only work for so long, and then the pain becomes so profound that you begin The young population has the highest using it beyond the prescribed amount, and then the doctor won’t unemployment rate of any of our veterans prescribe it any longer so you start self-medicating, and then you start getting into illegal behavior.” Jordan Moore, 20, went to Afghanistan with Britain’s Coldstream Guards in 2008, when he was just 17 years old. He left military At this point, up to three years down the road, the soon-to-be- service after 2½ years and found himself unable to readjust to homeless veteran slides below the poverty line and the risk of life in Sunderland in northeast England. homelessness becomes acute. “When I came home, I kind of lost my friends,” he said. “I had to “So we are quite far out from seeing the true wave of people keep things to myself. Even now, people don’t know the things I who will become homeless. And there are going to be a lot of did, the things that went on” in Afghanistan. “They don’t really people who are homeless, and the people who are homeless are ask about it.” going to be people who are physically handicapped as well as emotionally handicapped,” Donovan added. He slid into substance abuse before seeking help from UK charity Norcare, which set up a veterans’ center in Newcastle last year. There are other dangers in the current economy for the newest “When I was at my worst, I was either staying in and drinking or crop of veterans. Many Western countries are cutting spending as taking drugs on my own, or when I went into town, I’d always they wrestle with huge deficits, and that could threaten funding seem to want to get into a fight,” Moore said. “It wasn’t until for vital programs just when the newest crop needs help. Christmas, after I completely snapped in front of my mum, that I realized I had a problem.” Canada recently proposed $226 million Canadian in budget cuts from Veterans Affairs, but a government spokesman told Determining a global count of veterans on the street is difficult, Vancouver street magazine Megaphone these were aimed at in part because of varying official definitions of what constitutes homelessness. improving efficiency rather than lowering benefits. NDP MP Peter Stoffer said he was concerned about the impact on health care and services. “As the official Opposition critic for Veterans Affairs, I have many examples of how the system of caring for our veterans is broken,” he wrote in a blog on the Canadian Veterans Advocacy website. “Veterans’ homelessness is also on the rise and more veterans are using food banks.”
According to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 144,842 American veterans, or 11.5 percent of homeless adults, spent at least one night in emergency or transitional housing between October 2009 and September 2010, down 3 percent from the year before. A second measure, the number of homeless veterans on a single night, rose 1 percent.
Funding at the U.S. VA has actually risen after a 2009 pledge by U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and President For its part, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans in Barack Obama to end veteran homelessness by 2015. But Angell the United States estimates that although only 8 percent of the general populace are veterans, those who served in the military agrees it is hard to predict what will happen in future. account for nearly one-fifth of the adult homeless population. “It’s hard to imagine that people wouldn’t be behind the Official counts are likely low since they leave out veterans who employment of veterans,” she said. “And really that’s not just a never register at a homeless facility: those who go from friend’s volume 11:1 whatsupstl.com
From soldier to street paper vendor A sur vey conducted by the International Network of Street Papers in June 2011 showed that a quarter of street papers in the network have seen an increase in the number of homeless war veterans in their cities in the last two years. Around one-third of street papers, which provide employment for homeless and marginalized people, currently have ex-soldiers as part of their vendor base. At some street papers more than 30% of vendors report prior military service. The numbers are highest in the United States and Canada, but street papers across Western Europe also work with vendors who served in the army. The legacy of war in the Balkans accounts for many homeless veterans in Eastern Europe, some of whom now work as street paper vendors in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia and Ukraine. But the problem is not exclusive to the U.S. and Europe. Street papers in Australia and Asia also report to provide employment to ex-soldiers. South Korea’s street paper registered 74 veterans as vendors in the past two years alone, and sister publications in Japan and Taiwan also report former soldiers in their vendor base. A lack of jobs, government suppor t and recognition for mental problems of veterans are reported as main causes for homelessness among this group. [89 INSP street paper s on 6 continents took part in the survey]
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house to friend’s house; sleep in cars, in the woods or on the streets. It also leaves out those who don’t admit to being veterans. In Britain, one study showed 3 percent of those found sleeping on the streets in London between April 2009 and March 2010 had served in the military.
John Alford, 57, turned to the bottle after serving in Northern Ireland. Blinded in one eye by a nail bomb during his service with the First Gloucestershire Regiment, he saw two colleagues shot by snipers.
“You can never forget something like that,” he said. “After I left the army, I found it difficult to fit in and settle anywhere, and drink becomes something you suppress it Experts cite a host of reasons veterans all with. I lost a lot through it. I’ve been may be at risk of homelessness: trouble married four times.” Alford has left drink adjusting to the chaotic rhythm of behind and is establishing a new life, “normal” life after the comforting rigor assisted by the Forces Self Build Scheme in of military routine, post-traumatic stress Bristol, a program that is helping ex-service disorder, difficulty translating work in the personnel build their own housing. service into marketable job skills, loss of camaraderie, dependence on alcohol or Such grassroots initiatives, national drugs, serious physical injury. veterans’ charities and government agencies have launched scores of Veterans can also contend with all the programs in recent years to help military issues that can cause homelessness in the personnel with everything from housing to mainstream of society - lack of affordable job training and advice. Many also connect housing, jobs that don’t pay a living veterans with fellow veterans to give them wage, red tape that makes social services a new sense of community and common impossible to navigate, physical or mental experience. disabilities. Angell says many of the staff at the VA’s The new crop of veterans also face a 300 centers across the United States are greater likelihood of serious physical combat veterans who understand the disability than those of the past, according trauma of life under fire. to Alison Hickey, undersecretary for benefits at the U.S. VA. “Those claims are Bryan Green, 64, a former staff sergeant coming in far more complex than we have in the UK’s Royal Electrical Mechanical experienced in past conflicts, largely for a Engineers, found it hard to adapt to civilian good news reason,” Hickey said. life after a quarter-century in the military and suffered a breakdown three years ago. “Our veterans are ... 10 times more likely He finds the sense of belonging he finds to survive a major injury or illness, and at Norcare’s veterans center invaluable. that’s a good thing, but that means that we are going to be taking care of many more “It takes a long time to re-adjust. Bills people for some very serious injuries for and everything else have been done for a long time.” you, so you don’t have a clue. And you’re not part of a team. Suddenly the army is Donovan said there is an increased risk gone. A door has been shut in your life,” of substance abuse in U.S. veterans who Green said. “When I can talk about these suffer debilitating injuries because doctors things with Jordan” Moore “and these often prescribe potentially addictive guys, people who have been through the painkillers. same things, it means a lot.”
“That’s what happens with these populations. You don’t solve the problem. You pour tons of money into it, you pay attention to it, but you don’t solve the problem and it becomes socially resistant.” On Canada’s west coast, Phil Quesnelle, recently released from the Canadian Forces on disability after receiving a diagnosis of PTSD, sits on the board of the South Mid Vancouver Island Zone Veterans Housing Society, which founded a transitional residence devoted to ex-service personnel struggling to find shelter.
veterans who can’t afford rent, and says its efforts kept 9 percent more veterans in their homes last year compared to previous years. “It can be quite expensive to try to get someone who has been chronically homeless for many years off the street and stabilized - compared to what it might take to prevent,” Angell said. “If you can help He also acts as a peer counselor, offering someone with two months’ rent, compared others the benefit of his experience. to what it would cost in 10 years to help “It’s not a switch you can turn on or off,” this person get off the street and deal with Quesnelle said. “But people expect you to other health issues.” go back to normal over the span of that 10-hour flight back to Canada. It doesn’t Hugh Milroy, who served in the first work that way, and people just don’t Gulf War and is now CEO of UK charity understand it.” Veterans Aid, believes veterans are actually “citizens-plus” in Britain, with Conscious of the disproportionate number the government as well as 3,000 charities of ex-service personnel in the ranks of offering support. He worries that too much U.S. unemployed, the VA has hired 400 focus on the homelessness issue may formerly homeless veterans to act as peer brand veterans as victims. counselors for those trying to find work. They coach on résumés, talk through He agrees the situation is tougher in the interviews and are at on call to lend United States, in part because of the support through the sometimes stressful absence of universal health care and a early days on a new job. strong social safety net. It has also set up a new HR office that helps job-seekers translate their work in the military into civilian job skills, along with guidance on applications.
Denmark’s support for its returnees is not as pronounced as in some other countries, according to street newspaper Hus Forbi. The Ministry of Defense there puts returning soldiers through a three“We’re being very proactive because month acclimatization program. Six months honestly, since poverty is the definer of after their return, they are asked to fill out the pathway to homelessness, if at least a questionnaire. One-third of veterans we can drop that unemployment rate for never reply. our newest veterans coming back, that should be a big prevention strategy,” said Donovan of the National Coalition for the the VA’s Angell. Homeless in the United States says the increases in funding under the Obama The VA also negotiates with lenders to help administration will inevitably reduce the
number of veterans on the streets, but he worries Congress might turn its attention elsewhere once the United States has withdrawn from Iraq. “We’re a country suffering from ADD, and when we aren’t at war, we’re going to stop thinking about veterans, and we’re going to think about something else,” he said. The key, he says, is ensuring that enough permanent housing is built via programs like the VA’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program, where veterans get vouchers for housing organized by local housing authorities in the United States. “It reminds me of antibiotics,” Donovan said. “If you give somebody two doses the first day and another dose and another dose and all of a sudden they start feeling better, and you don’t give them the last three days, what happens? The person’s going to get sick again, and when it comes back, it’s going to be medically resistant; it’s going to be treatment-resistant. That’s what happens with these populations. You don’t solve the problem. You pour tons of money into it, you pay attention to it, but you don’t solve the problem and it becomes socially resistant.”
With support from Reuters journalist, Sarah Edmonds, SNS produced this Special Report. Additional repor ting by Yvonne Robertson / Megaphone Canada, Adam Forrest / The Big Issue UK, Simon Ankjærgaard / Hus Forbi and Danielle Batist / Street News Service)
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Grassroots Against Poverty Organizations Are Key To Bringing The Support Needed For Individuals Facing Homelessness
words kristen weber
Homelessness affects everyone. In a time when economic hardships are skyrocketing, resources for poverty-stricken families are deteriorating. From 2009 to 2010, the number of reported homeless people in Missouri increased by 12 percent. With this increase, people who lack a permanent and stable residence are left with few options for shelter. This is especially true for women and children. With government agencies cutting benefits for these programs, it is up to the community to look out for their neighbors.
CWAH provides numerous resources. There are classes and workshops on financial literacy, education, job training, fitness, nutrition, and computer training. The program also assists with paying rent and living expenses through a transitional housing program. CWAH’s Family Support Center houses a library, computer lab, music laboratory, clothing boutique, food pantry, and a warehouse of donated furniture, appliances, and various household items. This is simply an amazing collaboration of support for women and children.
“The whole system has changed. It is up to us to make sure these individuals get the appropriate testing and health care they deserve.” Grassroots movements and organizations are key to bringing the support needed for individuals facing homelessness and living in extreme poverty. One organization in particular has risen to this challenge by helping young women and children strive and survive: Community Women Against Hardship (CWAH). Founded in 1988 by Gloria Taylor and the late Betty Lee, CWAH has become a strong support system.
Each year CWAH holds events to align with their mission. On May 19 it will host its annual Walk for Life in Tower Grove Park. This is an opportunity for families to come out to the park and explore an array of health services, including vendors such as Planned Parenthood, Sitemen Cancer Center, and the Dental Society. Taylor says this event is about “the need to improve the health and wellness of our community members. The whole system has changed. It is up to us to make sure these individuals get the appropriate testing and health care they deserve.”
When asked why she began such an organization, Taylor is filled with positive and uplifting commentary. She says: “These are our future leaders and we need to get them happy and healthy. Many of these families are not getting the information needed to move Gloria Taylor is a breath of fresh air for showing what a strong forward. What we do is give them the resources and show them mind and willingness to work for a cause greater than oneself can how to help themselves.” bring to a community. Her tireless efforts motivate others to go out and make a change in their communities. Please visit www.cwha. CWAH’s approach is not only to provide resources to these org to learn more about Community Women Against Hardship. families, but to teach them how to rise above homelessness and poverty. With a strong will and presence, CWAH has helped thousands of families throughout the St. Louis region. This kristen weber is the CEO/Founder of L.I.F.E. Foundation proactive approach of having these families help themselves has working to promote, create, and support programs that led to a new wave of community awareness. directly focus on the advancement of education for children. 18 whatsupstl.com volume 11:1
14 Ways to Help the Homeless words WWW.JUSTGIVE.ORG - The destination for online charitable giving
The world of the homeless seems very far from yours -- but in some ways it is quite near. For any of us, the loss of a job, the death of a spouse or a child or a severe physical disability could be the route to total despair. These are the very tragedies that have happened to many homeless people. Struck by personal tragedies, the people in shelters across America, have lost their homes and been deserted by the families and friends they once had. What can you do to help them? Sometimes the smallest can go a long way.
1. Understand who the homeless are - Help dispel the stereotypes about the homeless. Learn about the different reasons for homelessness, every situation is unique. 2. Educate yourself about the homeless - A homeless person may be someone who lost their job, a runaway child, or someone with a mental illness. One of the first steps in helping people is to see them as individuals and to find out what they need. Notice them; talk to them. Most are starved for attention. 3. Respect the homeless as individuals - Give the homeless people the same courtesy and respect you would accord your friends, your family, your employer. Treat them as you would wish to be treated if you needed assistance. 4. Respond with kindness - We can make quite a difference in the lives of the homeless when we respond to them, rather than ignore or dismiss them. Try a kind word and a smile. 5. Develop lists of shelters - Carry a card that lists local shelters so you can hand them out to the homeless. You can find shelters in your phone book or online. 6. Buy Whats Up Magazine - Publications like this quarterly publication in St. Louis are sold in almost every major American city and are intended to help the homeless help themselves. 7. Volunteer your professional services - No matter what you do for a living, you can help the homeless with your on-the-job talents and skills. Those with clerical skills can train those with little skills. Doctors, psychiatrists, counselors, and dentists can treat the homeless in clinics. Lawyers can help with legal concerns. The homeless’ needs are bountiful -- your time and talent won’t be wasted. 8. Tutor the homeless - A tutor can make all the difference. Just having adult attention can spur children to do their best. Many programs exist in shelters, transitional housing programs, and schools that require interested volunteers. Or begin you own tutor volunteer corps at your local shelter. It takes nothing more than a little time.
9. Take homeless children on trips - Frequently, the only environment a homeless child knows is that of the street, shelters, or other transitory housing. Outside of school -- if they attend -- these children have little exposure to many of the simple pleasures that most kids have. Volunteer at your local family shelter to take children skating or to an aquarium. 10. Employ the homeless - Help Wanted - General Office Work. Welfare recipient, parolee, ex-addict OK. Good salary, benefits. Will train. That’s the way to invite the “unemployable” to learn to work and the program works! More than half the people who sign on find permanent, well-paying jobs, often in maintenance, construction, clerical, or security work. 11. Help the homeless apply for aid - Governmental aid is available for homeless people, but many may not know where to find it or how to apply. Since they don’t have a mailing address, governmental agencies may not be able to reach them. 12. Stand up for the civil rights of the homeless - In recent elections, for example, volunteers at shelters and elsewhere helped homeless people register to vote . . . even though they had “no fixed address” at the moment. Some officials would not permit citizens without a permanent address to vote. 13. Contact your government representatives - Our legislators rarely receive more than three visits or ten letters about any subject. When the numbers exceed that amount, they sit up and take note. Personal visits are the most potent. Letters are next; telephone calls are third best. Housing issues don’t come up that often, so your public officials will listen. 14. Push for state homelessness prevention programs - While states routinely supply aid for the poor and homeless, many do not have programs provide funds and other services to those who will lose their homes in the immediate future unless something is done. Homelessness comes at great financial and human cost to the families who are evicted or foreclosed.
volume 11:1 whatsupstl.com
spare some time
whats up magazine vendor paul jackson finds a place to feel at peace near the campus of saint louis university - giving students a chance to learn about poverty in person
words kate essig pics anu gorukanti
20 whatsupstl.com volume 11:1
Meet Paul Jackson. Paul is a fixture near the crosswalk at Grand. His denim overalls, lanyard and catch phrase — “Does anyone have a penny, or anything, for the homeless?” — are all familiar to Saint Louis University students. He’s a well-known face on campus, but just how well do we know Paul Jackson?
receiving a $2,500 social change grant in the summer of 2001 from Washington University, before his final year as a student there. Swoboda was inspired to start Whats Up in St. Louis after speaking with Aaron Goldstein, the founder of the former Whats Up Magazine in Boston during a year of AmeriCorps.
Paul is friendly. He describes himself as shy, Baptist, 44, and homeless. But he wasn’t always without an address; in fact, his first home was only minutes away from SLU’s campus. He was born and raised in South City, near 14th Street and Chouteau. His story is one of struggle: He was one of 12 children to a single mother; he dropped out of high school after the 10th grade; and he’s had one failed marriage and two stints in the penitentiary. But, with the help of a St. Louis nonprofit, Paul Jackson’s story has become one of hope.
“I kind of jokingly said, ‘I should start one of these in Saint Louis.’” Swoboda explained. “And Goldstein said, ‘Definitely. That’s exactly what you should do.’ ”
A venture that began as a summer project has now lasted almost 10 years and employed close to 800 homeless men and women in the Saint Louis area. The homeless employed by Whats Up assist directly in the sale, production, and advertisement of the magazine. Unlike other jobs, being employed by Whats Up offers immediate assistance to those who need it. It doesn’t require In the fall of 2007, Paul explains, he was “tired of being tired.” weeks of classes, an extensive application process, or months It was with luck that he discovered Whats Up Magazine, an of on-the-job training. In as little as a day, homeless men and organization devoted to providing homeless men and women women can find gainful employment at Whats Up without having with an opportunity to earn an honest wage doing an honest to jump through any hoops. job — selling magazines.
“Paul is friendly. He describes himself as shy, Baptist, 44, and
homeless. But he wasn’t always without an address; in fact, his first home was only minutes away from SLU’s campus. ” The concept is simple: Whats Up Magazine is a quarterly publication that covers topics like the environment, labor, public health, local news, and more. It’s produced by Whats Up founder Jay Swoboda, a tiny task force of volunteers, and 20 to 25 homeless vendors. Together, they write the articles, produce the magazine, and distribute it around the St. Louis area.
“I try to get vendors to use Whats Up as a steppingstone, as a launchpad to something else,” Swoboda explained, and for some vendors, Whats Up becomes just that. He counted off success stories on his fingers, telling of one vendor who went on to employment at US Bank and another who is now happily married and living in his own home. “Whats Up Magazine provides social support, an extra person in your corner,” said Swoboda, as he This idea is not unique to St. Louis or even to the United States. talked about vendors who’ve gone on to success after Whats Up Countries like England, Scotland, Germany, and Sweden all have and stayed in touch by phone, text, and Christmas card. cities involved in the street news movement. The newspapers vary in content, circulation, appearance, and title, but the basic But Swoboda assists his vendors by doing more than just idea is the same: Street newspapers empower the homeless by offering them a job selling magazines. He helped one vendor being a “hand up,” not a “hand out.” They offer employment to create a résumé and send in job applications. He helped another the economically disadvantaged and a way for the homeless to vendor with his credit report, and he helped still another find an help themselves without depending on the help of others. apartment. He helped Paul Jackson repair his car. The street newspaper movement was brought to St. Louis by Jay Swoboda — part real estate developer, part graphic designer, part sustainable energy expert, and the founder of Whats Up Magazine in Saint Louis. He started the organization after
When Swoboda’s name came up, Paul passionately spoke about his “good moral spirit.” Not because he founded a magazine, but because he cared. In speaking with both Swoboda and Paul, the sentiment was the same: Human kindness is the best currency. volume 11:1 whatsupstl.com
Swoboda explained, “I am of the opinion that panhandling is the first cry for help, and if you respond to that in a human way, people change their mind about man: They think maybe the world isn’t a horrible place… everyone isn’t out to get me.” Panhandling is about more than asking for nickels and dimes, it’s about asking a community to recognize the reality of homelessness, Swoboda continued:
Vendors sell Whats Up magazine all over the St. Louis area, reaching out to a diverse spectrum of communities with the same mission and message — to communicate the plight of the homeless. As Swoboda said, “What Whats Up is about is just like its name: What’s up? Starting a conversation and changing perspectives.”
Whats Up Magazine gives men and women like Paul an opportunity to do more than make a few dollars a day. It gives the homeless and non-homeless the opportunity to interact with each other in a positive, perspective-changing way. And although he admits he wouldn’t say no to a Chic-Fil-A sandwich, and it’s true that conversation can’t cure poverty, “being recognized,” Paul says, Paul Jackson has been a presence on SLU’s campus for two “is a start.” years. He comes back month after month because he likes it “You don’t have to give money, you can give human kindness. You can stop and have a conversation. You can interact with them as dignified persons. Ultimately, the best thing you can do is smile and say, ‘Hey, good luck to you.’ ”
“Panhandling is about more than asking for nickels and dimes, it’s about asking a community to recognize the reality of homeless.” here. He likes the environment because, he says, “It keeps my mind.” The only complaint he has about his time on campus are when members of the SLU community walk by without making eye contact, without nodding, or smiling, or saying hello. “Give me some recognition,” Paul asks. “You don’t have to give me anything. Just say, ‘How are you doing?’ Recognize me.” The goal of Whats Up Magazine is to do just that — to get people to recognize the realness of the homeless. It gives homeless men and women a way to interact with disparate communities, communities that haven’t experienced homelessness or the realities of the economically disadvantaged.
kate essig is a SLU sophomore majoring in English. This piece was first printed in “OneWorld” a Saint Louis
University’s student run social justice magazine the fall of 2011. Its mission is to raise awareness and spur involvement in pressing humanitarian crises occurring both locally and abroad through the use of compelling stories, moving photographs, and captivating designs. OneWorld recognizes and seeks to draw on the immense power that college students have in shaping society. Awareness is the first step on the road to action.
FIND OUT HOW YOUR COMPANY CAN BE FEATURED IN AN UPCOMING ISSUE!!!
CALL JAY SWOBODA @ 314.241.7744 22 whatsupstl.com volume 11:1
The Point - New Youth Shelter Needs Your Support
The mission of The Point is to improve the lives of young adults (ages 18 to 24) experiencing homelessness through housing, education and employment support. Imagine a St. Louis community where no young person must call the streets home. Abuse, drug and alcohol problems, mental illness and family breakdown force young adults to the streets at alarming rates. Their lack of life skills, education and employment trap them in a cycle of poverty and homelessness. The narrow scope of available funding combined with the rigid rules for eligibility prevent current homeless housing programs from meeting the needs of young adults. The Point is a housing program in St. Louis designed to meet the needs of those young adults unable to find adequate support through other housing programs. Currently the agency is in its early stages of development. In its full vision The Point will provide young adults with the safety and security of a stable home environment. This home will provide them with the support and encouragement they need to pursue educational, employment, and life goals. Community programs will include GED services and employment training programs for young adults not participating in the agency housing program. With these programs The Point will help St. Louis become a community where no young person must call the streets home.
LEARN MORE AT: WWW.THEPOINTSTL.ORG
*MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIFE OF A YOUNG PERSON EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS. *HELP ORGANIZE ROCK CLIMBING, HIKING AND OUTDOOR EVENTS. *DEDICATE YOUR CLIMBS TO POVERTY EFFORTS WORLDWIDE & FUNDRAISE TO RAISE AWARENESS OF POVERTY. *VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: 314-241-7744
volume 11:1 whatsupstl.com
INFORMATION FOR THE DISADVANTAGED AND HOMELESS OF ST. LOUIS AND THOSE WILLING TO HELP, AID AND ASSIST THEM IT IS A REQUIREMENT OF ALL SHELTERS THAT CONTRACT WITH THE CITY OF ST. LOUIS OR SAINT LOUIS COUNTY THAT INDIVIDUALS ACCESS SHELTER VIA THE HOUSING RESOURCE CENTER’S (HRC) HOUSING HOTLINE. LOOK FOR THE
LOGO IN THE SERVICE DIRECTORY.
Almost Home, Inc. 3200 Vincent See Key for Description W St. Louis, MO 63104 314/771-4663 Almost Home is a transitional living home for homeless young women who are primarily teenage. The young women may or may not be pregnant, or may have one or two children. The program is nine months and may be extended. Clients must be homeless, drug- and alcohol-free, and willing to participate in structured, goal-oriented programs. They must be willing to utilize counseling; seeking to live a functional, independent life in appropriate or permanent housing; and willing to change unsatisfactory living patterns. Clients will attend classes in budgeting, parenting, and child development. Gateway Homeless Services 1000 N. 19th Street F W HRC St. Louis, MO 63106 314/231-1515 The Christian Service Center is a 90-day, 24-hour shelter for 135 single women, single women with dependent children, married couples with or without dependent children, and single fathers with dependent childeren. Services provided include basic shelter services, individual case management, life skills program, medical and psychological services, educational assistance, permanant and transitional housing placement, self-esteem, emergency assistance, tutoring, employment referrals and activities for homeless youth. Centenary Methodist 55 Plaza Square W F M St. Louis, MO 63103 314/421-3136 This downtown faith community reaches out to the downtown homeless with compassion and a whole list of community resources from 7-9 AM for breakfast and 12 - 12:30 PM for lunch Tuesday-Saturday. Good Samaritan Center F 2108 Russell St. Louis, MO 63104 314/772-7720 The Good Samaritan Center offers stabilization and resettlement services for homeless families coming out of the shelter system. Services include transitional housing, case work training, support groups, life skills, follow-up, and referrals. Clients must be at least 18 years of age, have a family or children living with them, employable, and willing to work at their resettlement.
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Grace Hill Neighborhood Services: MORE Transitional Housing Program 3815 North 20th St. S W St. Louis, MO 63107 314/539-9659 Grace Hill provides transitional housing and emergency assistance (when funds are available) for single women and mothers. Clients must meet several criteria, including 1.) being homeless or in imminent danger of becoming homeless; 2.) having no more than two small children; 3.) having income or being eligible to receive income assistance; and 4.) being willing to participate in self-help activities (i.e., employment, training or GED classes). Haven of Grace W HRC 1133 Benton St. St. Louis, MO 63106 314/621-6507 Haven of Grace assists homeless, pregnant women ages 16-21 with shelter, goal-setting, education, employment, parenting, household management, and permanent residence. Hope House 1611 Hodiamont Ave. F St. Louis, MO 63112 314/382-3801 Hope House offers 50 transitional housing apartments for homeless families, comprehensive social services, family development, vocational and educational counseling, housing placement assistance, on-site living skills classes, and day care center. Clients must be prior St. Louis City residents and in a shelter for 15-30 days or referred by Housing Resource Center. After completing a comprehensive screening, the average stay is 12 months. Housing Resource Center 800 N. Tucker Blvd S M W St. Louis, MO 63101 Hotline for Services 314/802-5444 The Housing Resource Center provides centralized, comprehensive housing assistance for families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The focus is on prevention, but when prevention is not possible, emergency shelter placement and post-shelter placement is provided. Services include intake, assessment, and screening. Clients must be city or county residents (based on last permanent address). New Life Evangelistic Center (NLEC) 1411 Locust St. Louis, MO 63103 S W M F 314/421-3020 NLEC provides Christian outreach ministry to meet mental, physical, and spiritual needs of the City’s endangered residents. Among its services are: 24-hour hotlines, counseling, overnight emergency shelters at three locations (singles, men only, women only and families), rental/mortgage assistance, women’s services, utility assistance, transitional housing programs and shelters. Olive Branch W F HRC 5029 Vernon Ave. St. Louis, MO 63113 314.367-7676 Olive Branch provides 24-hour maternity shelter care for homeless/pregnant adolescents. Mother and baby may stay for up to three months after birth. Our Lady’s Inn W HRC 4223 S. Compton St. Louis, MO 63111 Phone: (314)351-4590 The Inn is an emergency shelter for homeless pregnant women. Clients must be pregnant, 18 years old or older, and City or County residents. Peter & Paul Community Services, Inc. Emergency Shelter/Transitional Housing 711 Allen M HRC St. Louis, MO 63104 314/621-5520 Peter & Paul Community Services assists homeless and near-homeless single men in several ways: a 50-bed year-round emergency shelter, a 20-bed year-round transitional program, meals, showers, lockers, medical referrals, living skills classes, and case management. Federal poverty guidelines apply and clients must be 18 years or older. Candidates for the transitional program must be sober and drug-free for a minimum of 30 days and have a willingness to continue treatment. Grace Chapel Ministries M 1230 California St. Louis, MO 63104 314/995-5013 Grace Chapel Ministries provides emergency and transitional housing for men, food pantry, clothing for homeless, permanent housing assistance, job placement, and transportation assistance for health services. The services are for adult male homeless clients with no serious chemical dependency problems.
ALSO, BE SURE TO CHECK OUT ST. LOUIS AREA RESOURCE DIRECTORY: http://www.StartHereSTL.org
Salvation Army CIP: Transitional Housing Program F HRC 4100 Snow St. Louis, MO 63120 314/389-9293 CIP offers 30 transitional housing apartments for homeless families in recovery. The center also accept homeless families that are not in drug recovery program and willing to work in our program. Families must have been in a shelter for 30 days prior to a referral being made. Covenant House Missouri Y HRC 2256 S. 39th St. St. Louis, MO 63110 (314) 772-6530 Covenant House Missouri provides emergency and long-term (12-24 months) transitional housing to prepare single women and men ages 17 to 21 for independent living. Services include individual counseling, family therapy and group counseling. Clients are homeless, single men and women 16 to 21 years old who need residential care and skill training to live independently, and who are willing to comply with program activities and structure. Redevelopment Opportunities for Women, Inc. W 2229 Pine Street St. Louis, MO 63103 314/588-8300 ROW effects positive change on behalf of homeless, abused and/or indigent women and families through programs and services that help individuals pursue economic self-sufficiency. Services include adult basic education and literacy, economic education, personal and life skills development, parenting education and support, domestic violence support and advocacy, and an early childhood program. Someone Cares Mission S 2718 N. 13th Street St. Louis, MO 63107 314-621-6703 Someone Cares Mission, a subsidiary of Christian Service Center, Inc., provides fresh and nutritious brown-bag lunches, personal hygiene products, and blankets for homeless and impoverished individuals and families five days a week. The Mission also distributes approximately 20,000 pounds of food daily to benefit bi-state regional homeless shelters and food pantries. St. Martha’s Hall W P. O. Box 4950 St. Louis, MO 63108 314/533-1313 St. Martha’s Hall is a confidential shelter for abused women and their children. Services include individual and group counseling, legal advocacy, information, referral, and follow up. Clients must be female victims of domestic violence, 18 years old and up. The Hall does not admit males older than 13 years of age. St. Patrick Partnership Center S 800 N. Tucker St. Louis, MO 63101 314/802-0700 The Partnership Center provides home living skills training and open market housing for individuals referred by agencies within the Homeless Services Network. Casework, employment training, child care, GED, and vocational referrals are available. The Center provides furniture and supplies to graduates of homeless and at-risk people referred by a member of the Homeless Network Board. St. Phillipine Emergency Shelter F 1015 Goodfellow Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63112 314/454-1012 St. Phillipine offers families with children 60-day shelter, providing hot meals, laundry and bathing facilities, referrals to transitional housing to women and children, medical referral, and access to City of St. Louis Homeless Services classes. St.Vincent de Paul Society S 4141 Forest Park Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63108 314/531-2183 St. Vincent de Paul assists with transportation for the homeless. Service needs to an out-of-town location would be referred to Mullanphy Travelers Aid, and local needs would be provided by the Society via bus and MetroLink passes when available. Serves families and individuals facing homelessness in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, and St. Charles.
CALL THE HOUSING HOTLINE
Sunshine Mission M 1520 N. 13th St. St. Louis, MO 63106 314/231-8209 Sunshine Mission offers a men’s emergency shelter, men’s long term rehabilitation program, women’s emergency services, food pantry, and youth programming. The men’s shelter is first-come, first-served. The Salvation Army F 10704 Page St. Louis, MO 63132 314/423-7770 This Salvation Army program is a year-round 50-bed shelter for County families who are homeless. Life skills training, legal assistance, child care, GED, and assistance into permanent housing are available for homeless families and abused women and children. United Methodist Metro Ministry Shalom House W 1040 S. Taylor St. Louis, MO 63110 314/534-1010 Shalom House is a 90-day shelter, which provides medical and dental services through Grace Hill Neighborhood Services, mental health services through St. Louis Mental Health Center, and a drug/alcohol day program through BASIC, D.A.R.T., or C-STAR programs. Clients are females (predominately mentally ill) aged 18 and older only. Veterans Affairs Homeless Veterans Program Healthcare for the Homeless 915 N. Grand Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63106 V 314/289-6547 The veterans’ program provides intake, assessment, referral, counseling, consultation for rehabilitative services, and residential placement through the program contract. The program serves honorably discharged veterans homeless for at least 30 days. C.A.L.L.-4-Life, Inc. S 4144 Lindell, Suite 136 St. Louis, MO 63108 314/652-0003 C.A.L.L.-4-Life outreaches St. Louis City residents who are homeless and were in special education while in school, and/or have a developmental disability. Services include connection to benefits, healthcare, housing/shelter, and long-term case management. Women’s Safe House W P.O. Box 63010 St. Louis, MO 63163 314/772-4535 The Women’s Safe House is a shelter for battered women and their children. Services include legal advocacy, community speaking and education, housing referrals, support groups, children’s programs, and limited transportation. YWCA-Phyllis Wheatley W HRC 3820 West Pine Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63108 314/533-9400 The facility provides housing for single women (up to two years). Personal and career development services include: Case Management Services, GED Certification, Educational and Vocational Assessment, Counseling, Job Readiness Training, Job Search and Referrals, Life Skills. Clients are single women, homeless or about to become homeless, 18 and older, and employed a minimum of 20 hours per week or with current written verification of income.
SHELTER AND SERVICES FOR YOUTH
SHELTER AND SERVICES FOR MEN
SHELTER AND SERVICES FOR VETERANS
SHELTER AND SERVICES FOR FAMILIES
SERVICES FOR THE HOMELESS OF SAINT LOUIS
volume 11:1 whatsupstl.com
camp out: finding home in an unstable world Laumeier Sculpture Park Exhibits Michael Rakowitz — an Artist for the Homeless
words ashley kopp wenzel Laumeier Sculpture Park’s upcoming exhibition Camp Out: Finding Home in an Unstable World is more than just your typical art show. It is an exhibition organized under the rubric “archaeology of place” and deals with the social and economic concerns of our city. The exhibition brings in ten artists from all over the world who will draw on specific St. Louis resources and address social issues facing our city along with topics on public space and land ownership. Laumeier’s Executive Director, Marilu Knode, explains, “the title Camp Out suggests the two extremes of living in the landscape. For some, camping is a deliberate ‘backto-nature’ experience precluded in our urbanized world. For other past and present global citizens, however, displacement from home and finding basic resources for living is a great struggle.”
consider whether or not it is acceptable to use. It is a bandage that brings attention to a societal wound; it doesn’t fix the apparatus that caused the wound. My hope is cities will revamp housing, and in that sense, it is as much about aggravating the city and institutions to come up with longtime sustainable solutions.” Rakowitz’s instructions will be advertised on the back inside and back cover page of this issue and then again in August. A prototype of paraSITE will also be installed on the grounds at Laumeier for the duration of the exhibition, from June 2 to September 16, 2012, and copies of Rakowitz’s instructions will be available for free inside the museum’s galleries.
For Rakowitz, paraSITEs are more than just temporary shelter for the homeless. They demand a passerby’s attention, and in doing One of the artists participating in Camp Out is Chicago based Iraqi- so, speak to the idea of placement and belonging. Suddenly, American Michael Rakowitz. He has exhibited in some of the most the “invisible” homeless have a presence. It’s easy to pretend reputable art institutions throughout the world and is known for to ignore the person huddled against the wall or standing along his portable shelters called, paraSITEs. The paraSITE project an exit ramp. It is much harder to ignore a billowing, tent-like was a result of conversations with some of Rakowitz’s homeless form emerging out of a building’s exterior exhaust vent only to neighbors whom he would pass by on a regular basis while an discover that someone is dwelling inside of it. art student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the late 1990’s. When hooked up to a building’s exterior exhaust Michael Rakowitz is not looking to solve the problems that cause vents, the air inflates and heats the paraSITE shelter, making them homelessness. He has taken one step, by working with one person alternative sleeping arrangements for the homeless. Rakowitz at a time to offer a temporary solution for that individual— custom-builds paraSITEs to fit the specific needs of an individual, giving them some reassurance and perhaps helping their story addressing each homeless person’s situation. The project has to be heard. As Rakowitz has said, “The homeless have stories evolved into an ongoing activity in multiple cities and will be of the city that no one else is telling. They are the purveyors brought to St. Louis for one of the first times. of stories….When I design a paraSITE, I focus more on the individuals. I am not trying to address a median statistic. I have the As part of his project in Laumeier’s exhibition, he hopes to build a opportunity to foreground and honor these people as individuals.” paraSITE for a St. Louis homeless individual. He will also distribute free step-by-step, do-it-yourself instructions on how to build a paraSITE, hoping to create a larger awareness of the social needs in our city. In offering these instructions Rakowitz states, “ParaSITEs are meant to alarm the public and to have them 26 whatsupstl.com volume 11:1
How to build an inflatable shelter that attaches to the exhaust vent of a buildingâ€™s heating system, thereby creating warmth and space in winter. Designed by Michael Rakowitz. Materials: 20 garbage bags (1 with drawstring), roll of duct tape or weather-proof packing tape, plastic tarp, thin gage electrical wire, scissors.
Cut the tops and bottoms off ten garbage bags so that theyâ€™re straight and open on both ends. (In the images, these bags are white.) Arrange in two rows of five each, cut end to cut end, and tape across. Do this bag after bag, creating two long plastic tubes. Be sure to tape both sides.
Cut six more bags in the same fashion and make three two-bag tubes. (In the images, these bags are gray.) Tape the sides of these tubes to one another to form a grid. Lay the grid between the two white tubes.
Cut the inside edges of the white tubes from top to bottom. Tape the newly cut edges of the white tubes to the open edges of the grid. Also tape closed one edge of each white tube.
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Make the extension tube by again cutting off the bottoms of garbage bags and taping the open ends together. More bags means a lengthier tube. Attach to the open end of one of the white tubes. Tape shut the open end of the other white tube.
Use a drawstring garbage bag to create the vent attachment. Most bags have two places to pull the string out; cut two more. At each of these four points loop hooks made from foot-long pieces of thin gage wire.
Unfold the plastic drop cloth and mark the desired floor space for the shelter. Cut accordingly. Tape the edges, lengthwise, to the white tubes. Turn the shelter over and it is ready to be inflated.
Check the seams for leaks. Any and all holes can be repaired with tape. If more privacy is desired, doors can be added using breathable fabric. The shelter will be warm enough regardless, and the double-membrane structure guards against contact with re-circulated air. To use, find a suitable exterior heating vent and attach shelter using hooks.
These instructions for paraSITE are designed by artist Michael Rakowitz and are part of the exhibition Camp Out: Finding Home in an Unstable World, on view from June 2 to September 16, 2012 at Laumeier Sculpture Park. For more information on this exhibition and other programs, please visit: www.laumeier.org 28 whatsupstl.com volume 11:1
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