A few days ago when I was walking around downtown Denver, a woman was selling the Denver Voice street newspaper along the 16th Street Mall for a suggested $1 donation so I ended up buying one.
Unlike a regular publication, the Voice is a street newspaper that focuses on issues related to poverty and homelessness. The papers are sold by area homeless or marginalized people, providing them employment and an outlet for expression and communication to the general public through writing articles and publishing their artwork. A small portion of the proceeds (usually 25 cents) go to the cost of publication, with the remainder (75 cents) going to the vendor.
Similar publications exist in other large cities, such as Street Sense in Washington, DC. Street papers not only provide a means of self-help for homeless to get back on their feet, but can also foster more positive interaction between the homeless and the more fortunate. Many people in large cities get turned off by the homeless who ask for money and change, but do not appear to be doing anything to help themselves. In contrast, street newspapers should be supported and the vendors deserve respect for taking responsibility to better their own lives.