What is NASNA?
The North American Street Newspaper Association (NASNA) is a nonprofit trade association of street newspapers throughout North America. NASNA is the regional support network of the International Network of Street Papers which consists of 110 papers in 40 countries and growing. NASNA has 31 members, 23 in the United States and 8 in Canada and there are new street papers looking to get started soon.
What is a street newspaper?
A street newspaper is a newspaper that primarily addresses issues related to poverty and homelessness and is distributed by poor or homeless vendors. Vendors sell the newspaper for a set price, usually $1, and have to pay the organization a fraction of the price (20% to 40%) for each paper up front. The self-employed vendor sells the papers on the street and keeps the money he or she makes. For many people, this is the opportunity they need to get back on their feet and into permanent housing.
The benefits of street papers go far beyond economic opportunity. For the vendor, they offer a positive experience of self-help that breaks through the isolation that many homeless people experience. They offer the public a means to reach out with their dollar to help a homeless person directly and, over time, form a caring relationship.
Most street newspapers also provide homeless and/or those living on the margins of society the opportunities for expression by publishing their articles, letters and artwork. These publications build a bridge between the very poor and the wider public by helping people to understand the issues and the personal stories of those on the lowest rung of the economic ladder.