The other night after leaving a concert at the Winspear, I bought a paper from a homeless man: Alberta Street News. This paper, published in Edmonton, provides vendors with the opportunity for employment. They pay $0.75 per copy and then sell the paper for a small profit. Many of the vendors face barriers that prevent them from other employment.
Homelessness is a complicated issue. It is difficult to understand the circumstances that lead to individuals living on the street. To be sure though, it is not a circumstance that they envisioned for themselves when they were children.
Rather than begging for money, this man sold me a newspaper. Our exchange, short as it was, maintained his dignity and provided him with a purpose. Here is yet another example of how words change worlds.