The Big Issue
When I lived in New York, homeless folks used to sell Street News. Inspired by that idea, the Big Issue uses a similar model, except for England and other places abroad:
The Big Issue is a street newspaper published in four continents; it is written by professional journalists and sold by homeless individuals, and was founded by John Bird and Gordon Roddick in September 1991.
The Economist has an interesting article on the media venture:
DANIEL CROITORU did not find London’s streets to be paved with gold when he arrived from Romania in 2007. Neither did he find well-paid work. Within weeks he was sleeping rough in a park. A stranger drove him to a day centre where staff gave him a hot meal and a change of clothes, and allowed him to wash. There he learned about the Big Issue, a weekly magazine that he could buy cheaply and sell for profit. Three and a half years later, Mr Croitoru lives on the income he generates from selling the magazine.
Billed as “a hand up, not a handout”, the Big Issue was founded in 1991 with the aim of helping the homeless to work. The people who sell it must show that they are sleeping rough or living in accommodation that they have no right to remain in, such as a friend’s flat. They buy copies of the magazine for half the cover price and sell them, pocketing the difference.
I wish them well. Going to the first link, Wikipedia, I don’t doubt the newspaper’s bent from the cover they choose to show. Still, an admirable venture.