GRID Magazine features RHD’s One Step Away: ‘Heart and Home’
December 23, 2019
GRID Magazine did a profile of a vendor working with RHD’s One Step Away named Ram, titled “Heart and Home” that looked at the trauma Ram and others who experience homelessness have suffered, and how One Step Away helped him rebuild his life:
Richard “Ram” Ramson knows Philly’s streets as few do because he’s lived on them. Behind most homeless people lie secrets, according to the native Philadelphian.
“Most of us have suffered trauma that we don’t talk about,” he says. Having faced housing insecurity since age 10, Ram, now 40, signed a lease in June for the first time in his life.
Ram and his 21-month-old daughter Symphony moved into their apartment thanks to a partnership between the philanthropic arm of Berger Rental Communities and One Step Away, a magazine sold by homeless vendors through a program by Resources for Human Development, a national human services nonprofit group.
“I’ve been selling One Step Away since 2012,” Ram says. “I’m grateful they put a roof over our heads.”
RHD founded One Step Away, Philadelphia’s street magazine, in 2009. Since then, One Step Away has grown to be a thriving program providing meaningful income for people experiencing homelessness or joblessness. More than 65 vendors each month find opportunity at One Step Away, and for more than 80 percent of One Step Away vendors, distributing the street magazine is their only source of income.
In its history, One Step Away has distributed almost 1 million issues, serving as an important voice of advocacy on issues of poverty and homelessness. It has also won North American Street Newspaper Association and International Street Newspaper Association awards for journalism. More than 100 writers – both people experiencing homelessness, volunteers in the community, and other homelessness providers working in partnership with One Step Away, contribute to the magazine each year.
Ram’s story was featured on Fox29 and on billypenn.com in stories that looked at One Step Away’s partnership with Berger Rental Communities’ “Hope & Door” project, which provides housing and rental assistance and seeks to work with Philadelphia homelessness providers to find people who have the best chance to be successful.
“There are times when a person just needs a chance.” Ram said. “RHD gives us a chance with the One Step Away program.”