New Homeless-centric Newspaper

Mike Dronkers / Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013 @ 4:29 p.m. / Homelessness

Humboldt county is about to get another newspaper, according to a press release.

The Humboldt Edge will be "produced with the assistance of Humboldt's homeless" to "to honor and invite the wisdom, knowledge and creative expression of people living on the street, experiencing homelessness and/or living on the edge economically."

The paper copy drops on Saturday alongside an online component.

The Humboldt Edge's editorial policy recognizes "that everyone’s experience is their own and that there is a wide diversity of situations of homelessness and poverty." Contributors who don't want to write can make audio recordings for transcription, and anonymity is fine, according to their webpage. 

The first edition contains the voices of thirteen local homeless and recently housed people, alongside one informational news article about The Homeless Bill of Rights and Fairness Act (AB5) that is currently under consideration in the CA State Senate.

The Humboldt Edge includes a diversity of voices in the form of articles, personal stories, art, cartoons, and poetry. Topics range from dehumanization, crimes and harassment against the homeless to the need for a permanent campground, safe spaces to lock up valuables and more available showers.

Some authors speak of their personal experiences: how becoming homeless radically changed their perspective or about a journey out of addiction and into a spiritually grounded life. What is resoundingly clear from all of the voices is the stigma and struggle of being homeless and the desire to treated with respect and an opportunity to better their circumstances. 

Calls to the editor/publisher Lorena Boswell were not immediately returned. Full press release below:

October 1, 2013


The Humboldt Edge: First edition homeless news hits the streets


The first issue of "The Humboldt Edge”, a newspaper produced with the assistance of Humboldt's homeless, comes out this Saturday, October fifth. Issues will be handed out at farmer’s markets, available in agencies such as Family Resource Centers, and placed in local shops and cafes as permission and interest is gained. 

The paper’s mission is to honor and invite the wisdom, knowledge and creative expression of people living on the street, experiencing homelessness and/or living on the edge economically. By empowering and educating both contributors and readers, the production and distribution of this monthly paper serves to counter the marginalization, stigmatization and silencing of people in poverty. Diverse perspectives and lives that are systematically pushed to the “Edge” are brought to the center as a means of stimulating survival, dignity, dialogue, understanding, justice and action.

Inspired by other street papers such as the San Francisco ‘Street Sheet’ and Sacramento’s ‘Homeward’, The Humboldt Edge has been birthed from four months of conversations, meetings, writing, editing and revising with dozens of local houseless people. 

The paper’s name emerged out of a creative process of surveying over 50 people living on the edge about what name they felt would best represent them. The Humboldt Edge’s multiple meanings and connotations was the clear choice for everyone from teens to seniors. 

More than twenty-five homeless or recently housed people have attended and contributed to planning meetings over the past couple of month. Because being homeless is such an unstable and unpredictable situation, weekly planning meetings are held with whoever can attend and decisions about layout and content are made by whatever voices were able to be at the table on a given day. Some days there were ten people at planning meetings, some there were four. 

The first edition contains the voices of thirteen local homeless and recently housed people, alongside one informational news article about The Homeless Bill of Rights and Fairness Act (AB5) that is currently under consideration in the CA State Senate. The Humboldt Edge includes a diversity of voices in the form of articles, personal stories, art, cartoons, and poetry. Topics range from dehumanization, crimes and harassment against the homeless to the need for a permanent campground, safe spaces to lock up valuables and more available showers. Some authors speak of their personal experiences: how 
becoming homeless radically changed their perspective or about a journey out of addiction and into a spiritually grounded life. What is resoundingly clear from all of the voices is the stigma and struggle of being homeless and the desire to treated with respect and an opportunity to better their circumstances. 

Based on the response of homeless people it is clear that there is a need and desire for this project. 

The homeless reporters are very grateful for a place to have a voice; and many people in the community have responded with thanks and excitement at the prospect of the Humboldt Edge. The next edition is planned for December. In addition to more articles and submissions, the Humboldt Edge is looking at ways to become a permanent and sustainable paper. This will include the need for more volunteer support with layout, editing and fundraising.

Editor and publisher Lorena Boswell, a Humboldt County resident and second year Masters of Divinity student of Starr King School of the Ministry, secured funds for piloting this paper as a recipient of the Jonathan Daniels Fellowship for seminarian students seeking to strengthen their theological education through participation in a social movement concerned with important social need. The funds are enough to produce and print at two or three editions of the paper. For more information on the 
fellowship visit: http://www.eds.edu/news/danielsfellowship2013

Any business interested in helping distribute the Humboldt Edge at their establishment, please contact the paper to arrange for free delivery of copies of this edition. 

For more information about the Humboldt Edge: 
humboldtedge.wordpress.com,

humboldtedge@gmail.com,

707-273-7704,

POB 162, Arcata, CA 95518

Lorena Boswell

 

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