PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - You may or may not know that the One Step Away paper is a tool, a way for the homeless to make money by selling a paper for a dollar that they got for a quarter with all profits going to them.
One Step Away’s Director Emily Taylor says that periodically One step away tries to do things to expand awareness about their mission.
“Our big sell-off brings community members together to distribute the one step away newspaper alongside a one step away vendor on the streets of Philadelphia.”
My first year after learning of the paper I watched as people mostly ignored their efforts.
In year two I went out with them and sold the papers myself as part of a small group invited to experience what they experience trying to make money and climb out of homelessness.
But this year after seeing how much the experience impacted those of us who participated, Ms. Taylor says they decided to expand the program.
“This year anybody and everybody is invited to our big sell-off.”
The hope is that the more people that feel for even a moment what homeless trying to get back on their feet deal with the more understanding we’ll be. Bill Arrowood was a guest vendor last year as well and feels like the experience definitely changes you.
“One of the things you really see when you’re out here in the shoes of the guys who are out here doing it is you see how hard it is to get people’s attention and recognize you as a person.”
You also become more sensitive to at least having the common decency to speak to people like you would pretty much anyone who took the time to pleasantly greet you on the street.
“Even the times that I can’t help them out with food or buying a paper or reaching out to them, I know them and they know me. We see each other we make eye contact we say good morning just like neighbors do.”
The big sell-off is Friday and they hope to of course spread awareness and help those in need but if more people give just an hour of their time I know, Bill knows and you’ll know, it could be bigger than that.
For more info visit: www.osaphilly.org
Adding that level of humanity back to our city is something we could all do a little more of.
We could… but will we, for goodness sake?