Word from the street: Asheville Street Sentinel debuts to digest news for the homeless

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.

Takin' it to the street: David Mayeux, a volunteer with the Asheville Homeless Network, with the first issue of the Asheville Street Sentinel. Photo by Jonathan Welch

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 ashevillehomeless@yahoo.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.

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About Jon Elliston
An Asheville-based mountain journalist: Former Mountain Xpress managing editor. Investigations and open government editor at Carolina Public Press. Senior contributing editor at WNC magazine.

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3 thoughts on “Word from the street: Asheville Street Sentinel debuts to digest news for the homeless

  1. francois Manavit

    It is a good start , another one will be to have access to check in numbers and names at he shelter , and play with numbers .
    Contacting families can sometimes help to have them back in a safe surrounding.

  2. Say What

    So, ’empowering’ the homeless with a printed rag to sell will be an enabler for them to directly approach people with panhandlin which is ILLEGAL in Asheville!

    Can we work on a BUS TICKET program and allow these folks a better life elsewhere?

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