Every Monday, I set aside a few hours to meet one-on-one with vendors who want to write. Sometimes they bring in poems to show me. Other times we create a story outline or workshop an idea.
These writing workshops are the highlight of my week. And lately, I’ve been noticing something exciting. In addition to the poems and personal statements, a few vendors have started writing about current issues in Denver.
I’m proud that the VOICE provides a forum for vendors to not only tell their stories, but also to add their voices to public discussions.
It’s not difficult to broadcast your voice to a wide audience now—more than half of our vendors have Facebook accounts—but it is difficult to get people to listen. We provide a platform that helps legitimize the voices of those experiencing poverty and homelessness.
Part of the Denver VOICE’s mission is to publish content that breaks down stereotypes about homelessness. One way we do this is by sharing the voices of our vendors. Publishing these voices gives our readers insight into parts of the community that would otherwise go unknown to them. We also cover news about homelessness, poverty, and community activism that concerns all Denver residents. And finally, we break down stereotypes by creating a space for vendors to interact with the community.
Thank you for being a part of that interaction, for stopping to take the paper, and thank you for listening.
Correction: In “No Enemies,” published in the May issue, we incorrectly stated that the man living in Sanctuary in a Denver church was from Brazil. He is from Mexico, and his name is Arturo Hernandez Garcia. ■
If you have something to add to the conversation, say it! Post on our Facebook page at /denvervoice or email firstname.lastname@example.org.