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Philadelphia greets debut of One Step Away, city's first street newspaper

12/16/2009 3:28:40 PM

Contact: Kevin Roberts, RHD Communications, kevinr@rhd.org

Dainette Mintz, Director of the Office of Supportive Housing in Philadelphia, gave a $1 donation to One Step Away and received the first copy of the city's first street paper in an event at the RHD Ridge Center Tuesday.

One Step Away debuted on the streets of Philadelphia this week. Among the 26 street newspapers operating in North America, it is the only one featuring content produced by homeless men, women and children. The 16-page tabloid featured a front-page story of fly-by-night freelance employers who prey on the homeless, as well as articles and columns on homeless issues, including an examination of the difficulties of transitioning from prison life to shelter life.

The paper also featured essays, creative writing and poetry from the residents of Ridge and Woodstock Family Center, among them a column by Stephanie Bermudez, a 13-year-old residing at Woodstock who wrote the lead column on the One Step Away feature page.

In an Associated Press story on the One Step Away debut, John Lozier, executive director of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, called street papers like One Step Away "a really important phenomenon."

"It provides an expressive outlet for people who are often ignored," Lozier said, adding it can also be a means of survival. "People very legitimately make enough money to find shelter some night."