Inaugural issue editorial published November 2011
On several occasions I’ve been asked rhetorically; “Aren’t newspapers dying? Isn’t print media becoming obsolete?” It does seem obvious to anyone who has been paying attention that print media is declining and poised to one day go away completely; but maybe it only seems that way. To be sure, the printed newspaper is no longer the only game in town and e-books are on the rise. We now have any number of ways to get news and information in ways both free and convenient.
In the midst of this change, we introduce Thrive Detroit Street Newspaper as a vehicle to serve the residents of the City of Detroit. A street newspaper is an independent publication with a social or charitable mission. According to the North American Street Newspaper Association (NASNA) there are 110 publications in 40 countries and growing. That’s right, growing in both volume and readership at a time when the overall industry is declining. I believe this to be indicative of the value of this independent, social enterprise model.
My education is in business, but I have worked in the social sector for 14 years. For the past two years I have worked at the Coalition On Temporary Shelters (COTS) as a manager for one of its homeless prevention programs. I decided to create a street newspaper for the City of Detroit after hearing about street newspapers from COTS’ Chief Operating Officer and seeing first-hand how the infusion of a few hundred dollars a month in a household budget can make the difference between a family maintaining housing and becoming homeless.
When an individual or family becomes homeless, it throws them into a negative spiral making recovery more difficult. Given the opportunity, these individuals could generate enough income to remain housed. Thrive Detroit Street Newspaper provides a no-barrier opportunity for Detroit’s homeless and vulnerably- housed population to become self-employed and operate a micro-business that can help them to obtain or sustain housing.
In order for our city to truly thrive, we must be intentional in our efforts to provide points of entry into entrepreneurship for persons of all socio-economic points on the spectrum to thrive, as well.
When you purchase a Thrive Detroit Street Newspaper from a vendor, an organization, or a business you are contributing to the“thrivation” of our city.
This is our inaugural issue. Walk with us each month as we learn, grow, and evolve into a publication that adds value to Detroit’s existing landscape of great publications while helping its citizens, our most valuable resource, to thrive.
Thrive Detroit is also building a network of citizen journalists. If you’re interested visit our website, text, email, or call us. www.thrivedetroit.org