Crumbs From Street Sense

In FishbowlDC’s ongoing effort to bring you comprehensive coverage of all things media-related in Washington, we picked up an issue of Street Sense to see what the publication has to offer.

Street Sense is a biweekly D.C.-area newspaper “sold by homeless individuals on the streets to help them earn an honest income,” according to the newspaper’s Facebook page. The most current issue was sold to us for $1 by vendor Frank Sterling. You can read his bio here (his favorite movie is Showgirls).

What’s inside…

Former prostitute and drug addict finds a ‘high’ in acting: A feature in Street Sense looks at “Back to Basics,” a church group made up of homeless people. The group puts on a play every third Friday of the month in which the participants reenact their pasts. Tuesday Robertson, a former drug addict and prostitute, loves it. “Sometimes I have to talk to other members of the cast to bring me back down because I’m at such a high level when performing that I need to speak to some of the cast so we can talk about it,” she said. “That kind of brings me back down to where I need to be.”

The media critic: Charmaine Milller, an editorial intern, has a book review on Michelle Obama‘s American Grown, a collection of stories about the White House garden. “The only thing that left me wanting more was that these were biographies rather than how-tos,” Miller writes. “The First Lady does a satisfactory job in her book of outlining the possibilities for applying healthy living standards to all classes in society, but a more real and defined approach to actually putting fresh produce in the hands of the poorest would strengthen the book…” Note: This was one of three pieces Miller wrote for the publication that centered on Michelle Obama.

The ‘Klever’ funnies (left): “Hello Washington, DC! Hopefully, your Summer is going well, and your content with KLEVER’S COMIC’S. Maybe this summer the action parks!!!!!!!!!!!!!Stay Cooooooollllll!”

Best lead: In a story about an AIDS conference, vendor Gary Minter writes, “The 19th International AIDS conference reminds me of a Star Trek Convention only more serious.”

Wrong medium: Minter also gives an on-the-air sign off at the end of his AIDS conference story: “Reporting live from the 19th International AIDS Conference at the Walter Washington Convention Center in our nation’s capital, this is Gary J. Minter for Street Sense.”

Homeless man accepts responsibility for being homeless: Vendor Jeffery McNeil writes, “I made some foolish choices with the worst being getting involved in drugs and gambling. I don’t blame the White Man or the Republicans for my fall.”

A special thank-you to anonymous Chiptole guy: “I can’t thank the Street Sense volunteers and staff enough for listening to me during my tough times,” a vendor whose name will remain anonymous writes. She adds, “Another thank-you goes to my Chipotle guy. Although I don’t know your name, thanks for bringing me a soft chicken taco and iced tea with a sh#t load of lemon every Thursday.”