In the late 90’s I worked in Harvard Square which was teeming with homeless people. Someone had the bright idea to launch a newspaper for the homeless called Spare Change. Here’s how it worked out.

Instead of tons of homeless people asking for spare change, tons of homeless people sold a newspaper no one wanted to read.

People would buy a copy and then immediately toss it into a recycle bin.

I’m sure it’ll be much different this time, though.

Zack Budryk of Inside Higher Ed reports.

Giving Back

Students at Rhodes College are collaborating to create the first-ever newspaper for the homeless created by (non-homeless) students.

This month will see the launch of The Bridge, a street paper founded by sophomores James Ekenstedt and Evan Katz, which aims to raise awareness about the plight of the homeless in the Memphis area.

“Last year, James and Evan… approached me about getting involved in the editing and writing process of a new street paper they wanted to start in Memphis,” said Rhodes sophomore Caroline Ponseti, who serves as the Bridge’s managing editor, via e-mail. “After doing some research on the overwhelming success of the street paper concept, the two decided on the spot that they wanted to start a paper.”

“We’ve been amazed by the amount of support we have received from all the different groups in the Memphis community,” Ekenstedt said.

The first issue of the Bridge will be 12 pages, while future editions will be 16 pages. While the paper will be created by Rhodes students, it will be sold on the street by vendors who are themselves homeless, who will be able to purchase copies for a quarter each and then sell them for a dollar each. The vendors, who will receive training before selling the paper, will be able to keep 100 percent of the profits. According to The Christian Science Monitor, a similar vendor model is used by most street papers.