Thursday, October 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 2:49 PM
Paul is attempting to rebuild his life by working as a vendor with One Step Away.

By Paul, One Step Away

There are different reasons why people become homeless. For me it was drinking and drugging.

I lived most of my life in the Pottstown area, a small town. Doing construction and making good money, I never had to worry about much. Being young, I worked hard and played just as hard.

POSTED: Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 3:50 PM
Ted is a One Step Away vendor who is working to obtain his own housing, and can usually be found distributing One Step Away throughout Center City.

By Ted, One Step Away

I often get asked by people if I think selling newspapers has been helpful to me, or how it’s helped. Aside from getting some income, it has helped me with issues that I had struggled with in years past — issues that a lot of people face whether they’re put through financial hardship or not. It’s also given me an outlet to tell a few stories.

I hadn’t gotten the chance to write much of anything in years, and had forgotten that I could do it. In the seven years I’ve been on the street I had more experiences, negative and positive, than I could ever remember. So I really appreciate the chance to tell some of the ones that stood out, and what I took away with me. My writing has improved because of it.

POSTED: Monday, June 30, 2014, 10:46 AM
Ronald (L) works as One Step Away vendor in Center City Philadelphia, and uses the income he earns to maintain his own housing. (Photo: One Step Away)

By Lauren Mayes

Ronald found himself homeless and living at the Occupy encampment in 2011 when he was introduced to One Step Away. He has been vending ever since.

“One Step Away helps me stay employed and self-reliant,” Ronald said. “I don’t need to panhandle or shoplift. It helps pay for housing.”

POSTED: Thursday, June 12, 2014, 11:11 PM
Earl Banks is a veteran who agreed to be part of “Vets Finding a Home.” (Photo by Harvey Finkle)

They are proud veterans who knew the jungles of Cambodia and the deserts of Afghanistan, who worked as electricians on naval ships, translated Russian in the Cold War, and monitored the weather in Korea. But they dealt with haunting memories of war, drugs and alcohol, depression, loss of jobs and families, and eventually fell into homelessness. They found a healing community, and are now standing proud, at home.

Their stories are the subject of a video and photography project which gives a face and a voice to veterans who have experienced homelessness. “Vets Finding a Home” opened at Project H.O.M.E.’s 1515 Fairmount Avenue residence on Thursday, May 29 and will run until June 20.

This project, sponsored by Project H.O.M.E. as part of its 25th anniversary commemoration in 2014, is a collaboration between award-winning photographer Harvey Finkle and Mark Lyons of the Philadelphia Storytelling Project.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 7:04 PM
Matthew Saas Muhammad. (Photo by Richard Simmons/One Step Away)

Matthew Saad Muhammad’s public memorial service will be June 5 at Enon Church West, 230 W. Coulter St. in Philadelphia. The viewing is from 9-11 a.m., with services immediately afterward. All of Matthew’s many fans and friends are welcome to attend.

Matthew’s family made plans for a public memorial after numerous requests from fans and friends who wanted to pay their respects. Anyone who would like to make a donation to help the family pay funeral expenses, please contact Deborah L. Wilson Funeral Home, at or 215-848-9776.

Saad Muhammad, former light heavyweight champion and member of the Boxing Hall of Fame who in later years worked as an advocate for people experiencing homelessness, passed away May 25 at Chestnut Hill Hospital. He was 59.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 27, 2014, 7:53 PM
Matthew Saad Muhammad works out with a young fan at an appearance he made for One Step Away’s Knock Out Homelessness campaign.

Matthew Saad Muhammad gave people hope.

The former light heavyweight champion and member of the Boxing Hall of Fame passed away May 25 at Chestnut Hill hospital after battling a lengthy illness. Matthew was a Philadelphia legend who rose to become a world champion after he was abandoned on the Ben Franklin Parkway as a child, one of the most iconic life stories in sports history. He will be remembered as a great champion, an absolutely heroic action fighter with a giant heart and one of the great gentlemen in sports.

At One Step Away, where in later years Matthew worked to become an advocate for people experiencing homelessness as spokesperson for One Step Away’s Knock Out Homelessness campaign, he’ll be remembered for the way he worked to give people hope – in and out of the ring.

Kevin Roberts | One Step Away @ 7:53 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, May 23, 2014, 4:50 PM
September, a One Step Away vendor who is working to attain housing and care for her children, poses with former cruiserweight champion Nate Miller and Nate’s championship belt at Knock Out Homelessness, presented by Independence Blue Cross on May 15 at Chickie’s & Pete’s. (Photo by Emily Cavan Lynch)

On May 15, One Step Away had its annual Knock Out Homelessness fundraiser, presented by Independence Blue Cross. Thank you to all who attended, participated and supported Philadelphia’s street newspaper. Your support of our mission helps us offer people experiencing homelessness meaningful income and personal growth opportunities while raising awareness and advocacy to create solutions and change so that everyone has the shelter they deserve.

Special thanks to great former champions Nate Miller, Dwight Muhammad Qawi and Buster Drayton, who were among those who lent a hand to help us Knock Out Homelessness. Unfortunately, Matthew Saad Muhammad, the former light heavyweight champion and Boxing Hall of Famer, could not attend. Matthew has hosted Knock Out Homelessness, an event inspired his own true life story, every year since its inception. This year, unfortunately, Matthew is battling a serious illness – although he sends his sincere thanks to everyone for their support and best wishes. Our thoughts and prayers are with Matthew and his family at this difficult time.

In all, a terrific crowd at Chickie’s and Pete’s helped support a program that works to break the cycle of homelessness at an event that featured video gaming and a silent auction of sports and entertainment memorabilia. We were also able to have some of our vendors make an appearance at the fundraiser and tell their stories.

Emily Taylor | Director, One Step Away @ 4:50 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, May 8, 2014, 1:05 PM
Cynthia Brooks is the director of Endow-A-Home, one of the nation’s most successful homelessness programs, and one of One Step Away’s 2014 Heroes for the Homeless.

Cynthia Brooks knew that everything starts with housing. She also knew that housing is just the first step in a long journey. And for a quarter century, she’s been helping mothers attain and maintain housing and change their lives for themselves and their children. Brooks is the director of Endow-A-Home, which this year celebrates 25 years of helping mothers move from homelessness to homeownership, as one of the most successful homelessness programs in the country.

Endow-A-Home has been kept alive largely through the efforts of Brooks, who headlines One Step Away’s Steppy Awards, presented each year by Philadelphia’s street newspaper to honor the heroes among us working to end homelessness and serve people in need every day. For a full list of Steppy Award winners, click here.

Endow-A-Home began as a project that sought to fight homelessness among Philadelphia’s single moms by giving them the financial tools to own their own homes. At first, Endow-A-Home was like most programs that work to end homelessness — it was about shelter. But Brooks believed that homelessness was a symptom of a larger debilitating issue, and she began attacking the root causes with a focus on intense case management.

About this blog
One Step Away is Philadelphia's street newspaper, produced and distributed by people experiencing homelessness. To donate, go to Reach One at kevinr@RHD.ORG.

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