Generous Patrons by the YMCA

Some ‘Streetvibes’ customers buy more than one copy

By Jeremy Flannery

Contributing Writer

Streetvibes vendor Tyrone “Terry” Ranson boasts about some of his generous customers. A Cincinnati Police officer from District One buys a copy from Ranson twice a week. A customer at the YMCA buys seven or eight copies of the same issue on different days.

“He’ll say, ‘Hey Terry, let me get another copy of Streetvibes,’ ” Ranson says. “So I’ll say, ‘You already bought three,’ and he’ll say, ‘OK, I’ll just give it to someone else.’ ”

Ranson sells Streetvibes to pay rent, bills and buy groceries, he says.

“Sales are slowly picking up,” he says. “I’m making my way to paying rent on time along with getting groceries and other necessities.”

Ranson also sells the newspaper to regain the commercial towing license he lost in 2005. He has been a vendor for almost a year and usually sells at the YMCA on Central Parkway to various regular customers.

“You get to meet a lot of people through selling,” Ranson says. “That’s what I like most about it – meeting people and making friends. You’ll meet people that’ll talk to you for five or 10 minutes, and people that just don’t want to talk. Some people you just got to feel your way around them. There will be people that’ll give you $5 for one paper or people that’ll buy a bunch at once.”

Ranson was homeless for three years and stayed at the Drop-Inn Center until October 2008, he says. He moved into his apartment in Over-the-Rhine in November.

“Being at the Drop-Inn Center was tough because there were set times – when it was time to eat, when it was time to watch TV and when it was time to sleep,” he says. “You would have to go outside for certain activities like smoking a cigarette, of course, or to go to the Med Van. But, you know, it’s better than nothing.”

Ranson, 54, has lived in Cincinnati all his life and has been sober for 21 years, he says. He has two granddaughters whom he visits whenever possible. He also tries to help other vendors through emotional difficulties when he can, he says.