Friday, December 19, 2014

POSTED: Friday, December 19, 2014, 2:01 PM
Charles is a One Step Away vendor who is working to attain his own housing and can usually be found distributing the newspaper in Center City. (One Step Away)

By Charles

Hello, I’m back again. Thank you, as always, for your continued support.

Two of the most dangerous words in the English language I have come to find, sometimes the hard way, are the words “good enough.” Whatever you’re trying to achieve in life always takes commitment, hard work, and a desire to always do better. There is no easy way out. 

POSTED: Friday, December 12, 2014, 11:45 AM
Philadelphia's annual Homeless Memorial Day honors the city's homeless and formerly homeless who died in the last year, and calls for an end to homelessness. (One Step Away)
By One Step Away staff

We gather each year, holding aloft simple signs bearing someone’s name. We hold single green candles, lit against the wind to remember our neighbors, friends and loved ones. We gather to remember those homeless and formerly homeless Philadelphians who died in the last year, and to call for an end to homelessness.

Philadelphia’s annual Homeless Memorial Day is usually scheduled for Dec. 21 — the first day of winter, the longest night of the year. Because that day falls on a weekend in 2014, Homeless Memorial Day is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 18.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 9, 2014, 11:58 AM
(From left to right) Tash, who shared her experiences with youth homelessness, Holden Jones of the Red Shield Family Residence, Janiece Frisby of the Teen Evolution Experience Network (TEEN), and Nyfiece Carter of TEEN respond to questions at “Finding Home,” a panel discussion on youth homelessness held at Temple University in October by Presenting Our Perspective On Philly Youth News (POPPYN). (Saeed Briscoe / One Step Away)
By Ethan Cohen

On Sept, 22, the U.S. Department of Education released new statistics on student homelessness, reporting that nearly 1.3 million public school students in the United States experienced homelessness in the 2012-13 school year. This marks an eight percent rise from the 2011-12 school year.

Seventy-five percent of the students recorded as homeless were living doubled-up in a residence with another family. Sixteen percent were living in a homeless shelter, while six percent were living in hotels or motels and three percent (41,635 students) did not have any shelter at night.

Pennsylvania reported a 15 percent rise in homelessness among public school students, almost double the national rate, increasing from 18,231 to 19,459 children. Four thousand of those students attended Philadelphia schools, with 3,268 more enrolled in surrounding counties.

POSTED: Friday, November 14, 2014, 11:28 AM
Jennifer uses her income from working with One Step Away to support herself and is hoping to go back to school in the fall. (One Step Away)

By Jennifer

I have been with One Step Away for about two years now, and it seems to me that it is getting harder and harder to make money out here. I don’t panhandle or beg; that’s why I try to always get some kind of writing in the paper each month. It makes me feel better to have something in the paper and allows me to feel like I am a part of something.

Times truly are tough right now. It’s a struggle every day to eat and put money away for rent and every day necessities (like hygiene products, etc.) I am diagnosed with anxiety and depression, which is a struggle everyday as well because I constantly worry about if I’m going to be able to pull it together each month and keep a roof over my head. I don’t ever want to go back to living on the streets, especially now that winter is near; it’s my biggest fear.

I just redid my resume hoping that will help change up the process of how my job hunting is going – or should I say, not going. I will take any work, so I know I’m not raising the bar too high for my standards. I will work anywhere with a paycheck, and I mean anywhere.

POSTED: Friday, October 31, 2014, 2:46 PM
Eric is a new vendor for One Step Away and was recently able to acquire his own housing. (Photo Courtesy: One Step Away)

By Eric

“Everything must change. Nothing remains the same. The young becomes the old, mysteries do unfold …” — George Benson

Change is not easy for a lot of people. It was not easy for me. To understand that the things that I did over and over again would keep giving me the same results took a very long time.

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.”

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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