Published August 2009 Vol. 13 Issue 7
by Gretchen Crowe
Meet Belinda Cotton and Victor Bowie. They’ve been together six years, and are quick to say they’ve had a lot of ups and downs; but love is obvious as these two work together as vendors. “This is my baby, we work as a team. We have a real good time with the VOICE, and it actually strengthens our relationship just working together. Even when it’s so discouraging, I found the right person and I can turn to her and she makes me smile.”
Victor was laid off earlier this year as a forklift driver and joined Belinda in the vendor works program.
Belinda and Victor approach their work like they did with their successful construction cleaning business in Atlanta: well-thought out and professional. They pack up decorated donation buckets, lollipops and helium balloons for kids, alongside the energy to work for eight or more hours. These two have a strong understanding that not all people they encounter can donate for a paper, and they are the first to refer people back to the VOICE and offer their knowledge of resources for people without homes. During the interview, Victor talked a lot about the positives of the VOICE, when he said, “This provides homeless people with a sense of dignity. It may not be for everyone, but if you want to better yourself…” Belinda let out a sincere chuckle, “The VOICE is like a lifeline!”
These two are getting ready to move to Atlanta, but they have an amazing goal up their sleeves. They are taking steps to start their own paper based on the Denver VOICE’s street paper model. And what’s it going to be called? “The Voice of Atlanta.”