May 2009 Streetvibes
The May issue of Streetvibes has hit the streets! Make sure to purchase your paper from a badged vendor. Some of the features of this month’s edition are:
“Selling Out – in the Best Possible Way”
By Gregory Flannery, Editor
Streetvibes vendors did it again, and so did our readers. All 6,000 copies of the April edition are gone, completely sold out. This came after vendors sold 4,000 copies of the March edition. This kind of support from readers is why the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless plans to start publishing Streetvibes twice a month beginning July 1. Plans call for new editions to be released on the first and 15th days of each month. With newspapers across the country going out of business, laying off employees and cutting their print runs, the success of Streetvibes can only be attributed to two things – the hard work of our vendors, who earn 75 cents for each copy they sell; and the generous support of our readers.
By Gregory Flannery
Many are starting to question the constricting sex offender policies in place in Hamilton County and all over the nation. In 2008, the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission warned that many of these policies might be doing more harm than good. Others such as Prof. Jill Levenson of Lynn University cite research that shows backing sex offenders into the corner is not good for anyone.
People such as Earl Smith in Cincinnati, are not able to find housing, work or any opportunities due to his sex offender label. This leaves Smith with few options- “I can either kill myself or I can commit another crime so I can get locked up.”
“Exceptional and Homeless”
By Lew Moores
Recent major motion picture and book, The Soloist, brings the discussion of homelessness to the center stage. Moores compares both film and book to see how each portray Nathaniel Ayers’ complex situation. Ayers, a classically trained musician whom ended up dropping out of the prestigious Julliard School of Arts and eventually living on the streets of Los Angeles, is plagued by paranoid schizophrenia.
Moores delves into the complexity of homelessness and mental illness. How do you help those such as Ayers? Resources are scarce enough, even book author Steve Lopez wonders about all the people out there who do not have an LA Times columnist writing and pushing for them. Moores notes the 2000 Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless study that in Cincinnati alone, 31% of the homeless population suffer from mental illness. In The Soloist art follows reality in that there is no magical ending. Ayers does not end up cured and playing for the Philharmonic; he does however, get an apartment and a very important friendship.
“Retreat to Silence”
By Stephanie Dunlap
Dunlap travels over three hours away to the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. She retraces her trips there and the monks she has befriended, Brothers Raphael and Rene. In a touching, poignant series of explorations, Dunlap does more than find out about this silent retreat; she seems to be learning how to frame these experiences for herself and how should she continue her journey into herself, if at all. The Gethsemani monks practice the language of silence and the abbey offers lay people the chance to stay at the retreat and take some time away from themselves- sleeping being a very popular amenity among guests. All in all, it can be summed up in Dunlap’s line “God’s humor, monks’widsom and a sweet magic”.