Last week the nonprofit Asheville Homeless Network unveiled a new weekly publication, Asheville Street Sentinel. It's a single-page newsletter devoted to sharing up-to-date information on news relevant to the city's homeless population.
The newsletter is produced by AHN volunteer David Mayeux. The organization has long distributed a pamphlet that serves as a community-resources guide for homeless folks, he explains, adding, "I wanted to take that idea to the next stage, so that any information related to homelessness would be put out on the a regular basis."
The first issue of the Street Sentinel features articles about two soon-to-open ABCCM day shelters, an AHN fundraiser, Homeward Bound's new theater production — which raises funds to fight homelessness — and an alleged counterfeit-check ring wherein the suspected ringleader was using homeless people to cash phony checks.
For now, the Street Sentinel will be offered for free. Presently, it's available at Firestorm Café and Books, and Mayeux says he's seeking more distribution points. (E-mail email@example.com if you're interested in distributing or otherwise assisting with the publication.) It's also available as a PDF at www.ashevillehomeless.org.
Mayeux says that the AHN will explore expanding the publication to a tabloid size at some point in the future. If that happens, the group might seek to turn the Street Sentinel into a for-pay publication that homeless people can help sell and keep a portion of the proceeds. That business model has found some success in cities like Seattle, Chicago and Vancouver, he says.