Each week, we give a bit of space and focus to a local would-be entrepreneur or an already-existing Central Ohio businessperson seeking support . Generally, this is someone who has ideas and goals for a product or service, but needs a bit of a boost. These folks turn to crowdfunding and we help to get the word out.
This week, we look at Street Speech.
Street Speech is a publication produced by the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless. Since its first issue in 2008, Street Speech’s pages have address the issues of Columbus’ homeless. From the publishers:
Our mission is to 1) act as a voice for the most vulnerable of the community while advocating for issues of social and economic justice, 2) foster self-sufficiency by providing a source of income to people living in poverty, and 3) create awareness of the issues of poverty and homelessness through newspaper content and positive interaction between vendors and community members.
The vendors on staff at Street Speech earn a living by selling the magazine. Buyers pay whatever amount they wish to donate and that money supports the magazine and the work of the coalition.
In 2015, Street Speech lost a number of grants that were vital to its sustainability. From Street Speech:
What this means is that the 50-60 vendors who earn a living through the program will be forced to seek additional support through the various social service assistance resources throughout Franklin County and/or risk relapsing into homelessness (for those currently with housing).
The coalition has turned to the community through a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to raise the money needed to keep Street Speech alive. (jj)