April Fools: Planning on a large investment? Call the director

Considering how flush readers are with money, and how the economy is on the uptick, Street Roots was thinking that now would be a good time to give to the organization.  We’re lucky to live in a city that still really hasn’t been all that affected by the economy, and we know there’s a lot of low hanging fruit on them trees, so please, with all the extra money laying around — maybe think about giving it to Street Roots this spring.

Like you, we’re feeling pretty flush too. Like the banks, we just want to be a little more flush before things get worse. While some organizations spend hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of dollars and its still unclear what it is they exactly do, Street Roots operates on a budget of less than $200,000.

Wait. $200,000? I must have been reading the ledgers wrong, really? We’re not flush? My board president is going to be so pissed at me. Does this mean our readers are not flush either? I’m confused. I thought we were being stimulated …

The truth of the matter is Street Roots readers — we’re not flush. And it doesn’t take an April Fools Edition of Street Roots for you to figure that out.

Street Roots produces a well-informed newspaper 26 times a year, works with more than 300 people on the streets, and offers 90,000 resource guides for the region on a budget of less than $200,000. It’s a miracle. Not a small miracle, a big miracle. And I’m not even a religious man.

But, readers, you can be glad that with our $200,000 (it’s actually more like $191,000) Street Roots is making a difference on street corners, in the halls of power, around dinner tables and in coffee houses. The public is more informed, relationships are built and conversations are taking place. Problems are dissected, solutions are offered. Voices from the bottom rise to the top. Stereotypes and myths are shattered, and complex circumstances are thought about in a different light. Not to mention, dozens of people are able to access or maintain housing, and hundreds are able to improve their quality of life and access services, all for $191,000.

Let’s put that into context. Street Roots publishes anywhere from 7,000 to 12,000 copies a print run (26 times a year). Let’s round the number to 9,000. Seventy-five percent of each paper’s profits go into the hands of people experiencing poverty who sell the newspaper, and that money goes right back into local businesses. So Street Roots, and its vendors, are actually stimulating $175,500 within the local economy each year, and redirecting some of the pressure from the social-service agencies, as vendors are able to buy their own food, pay for their night indoors, and meet their own basic needs. It’s all part of our our mission to change the way people think about poverty and improve people’s quality of life. And that’s no April Fools.

So, if you’re thinking about buying a new car, or taking a trip to Malibu, maybe just give that money to Street Roots. We promise we won’t waste it. In fact, if you’re a small business owner, artist, barista, or work in any other number of the trades, we might just give it back to you.

We hope you enjoyed this Annual April Fools Day edition of the newspaper. We hope you had as many laughs reading it as we had putting it together. From all of us at Street Roots, vendors, volunteers and staff — thanks for reading, and good night.

Comments are closed as of Dec 17 2012 to prepare for migration of content to our new News site.

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