As Economy Dives, Street Papers Thrive

Interest rising in quirky newspapers created by the homeless
By Erika Solomon,  Newser User
Posted Apr 13, 2009 12:35 PM CDT
The economic downturn is pushing more and more people onto the street.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Street papers—newspapers created and sold by the homeless—are enjoying a small boom, even as mainstream papers feel the brunt of the economic crisis. It’s not just because of growing interest in these local papers’ quirky coverage, the New York Times reports. As the ranks of the down-and-out swell, more and more people are showing up to sell the papers, which can return a 75-cent profit per copy.

Managers of these papers say they’re now getting vendors who have high school, even college diplomas, and the combination of more salesmen and “higher quality” vendors have boosted sales: Portland's Street Roots jumped from selling 11,000 to 16,000 papers within a few months. But the recession has hit some papers in other ways; Washington, DC's Street Sense has seen the donations that fund its operation drop 25% in the last year.