Saturday, March 12, 2005

Street Seen: What we stand for...

Street Seen was established in November 2004, as a campaigning Anti Poverty paper, primarily to be sold on the streets in the North by members of the Homeless community or those affected by Poverty directly.
Homelessness is an extreme symptom of Poverty and Street Seen through its associated projects intends to tackle the root causes of poverty locally and internationally.
Street Seen is a unique social experiment based on the philosophy of self help, a model that has been practiced successfully throughout the World. It gives homeless people a hand up not a hand out, empowering them through their own actions. Helping the homeless help themselves is one of the key principles behind Street Seen breaking people from dependency, offering an alternative to begging or crime. It allows people to make choices and develops their self-esteem. It provides empowerment; money they have earned through hard graft that comes with no rules to tell them how to spend it. They control the consequences. It teaches vendors how to run their own business
From selling the paper and earning their own living homeless people are elevated above the traditional hand out culture. Homelessness undermines human dignity and hinders the ability of people to benefit from their fundamental rights. Street Seen seeks to change the relationship homeless people have with their immediate environment, through giving them the ammunition for self initiated change.
Street Seen has not just enabled them to earn a living but it has empowered homeless people through their own actions, and thereby helped them to regain their self esteem. Equally as important, support and training is available to all vendors through our social projects. The purpose of the support and training is to enable vendors to re-integrate into society

Street Seen seeks to change the relationship between homeless people and the public by directly challenging traditional stereotypes surrounding the homeless in a number of innovative ways. Firstly by keeping the issue of homelessness and poverty in the paper, as well as in the national media - press, radio and TV, challenging stereotypical perceptions in the mainstream media. Secondly by giving homeless and marginalised people a voice in the paper, editorial which is written by homeless people locally and internationally about their own experiences.

We aim to produce a good read, not a pity purchase, so that the public buy the paper on its own merits and they are not in a sense, buying the condition of the vendor. However, Street Seen is a campaigning paper, raising issues that don't get coverage in the national press and more importantly providing a platform for homeless people and those who would not normally find space to share their experiences and opinions. Street Seen contains regular contributions from Iraq, Palestine and the many groups working towards social justice here and further afield and welcomes submissions from progressive groups and individuals.

We see working with other groups that have a common aim as crucial in helping to lay the foundations for social change. As such we have built links on the ground and with those agencies that work directly with the homeless and with the various agencies and groups that tackle poverty locally and nationally.

Current and future Projects:

· Recently held an ongoing successful Sleeping Bag Appeal, gathering enough items that will last for the next few months, with items distributed to the East Belfast Mission, The Welcome Centre (W Belfast), Home Plus and other outreach groups that work directly with the homeless Community..

· Creating Photography and creative writing classes so as to increase involvement with the Homeless Community and their paper.

· Producing a documentary, made by the Homeless so as to tell their own story, to be screened on terrestrial TV.

· Supporting and developing an International Homeless Forum where members of the Homeless Community and service providers can communicate and exchange thoughts and ideas. http://www.forums.homeless.org.au/

· Developing our own web space to increase inter reaction with our readership and supporters. http://www.streetseennews.blogspot.com/

· Working on creating Belfast’s Homeless Soccer league with associated coaching, refereeing and training courses

· Working with and promoting the Make Poverty History Campaign amongst other campaigns.

· Outreach Work with the Homeless Community addressing immediate needs and concerns


We do not rely on advertising or the backing of wealthy patrons to keep Street Seen afloat; we keep our cover price low so most people can afford it. It is more important for us to get the message out from the street than profit from poverty. At the moment we come out every three weeks with the intention to go fortnightly at the earliest opportunity. This has been a large undertaking but we feel confident for the future, the success of the Sleeping Bag Appeal exemplified to us that people really do want to make a difference.
Street Seen intends to stick around and assist anyone or group who are willing to attempt making that difference, you know where to find us…..


For more info mail: streetseen04@hotmail.com 0774 327 5533

25 Comments:

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