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Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project

About Us

Real Change exists to provide opportunity and a voice for low-income and homeless people while taking action for economic, social and racial justice.

We envision a just, caring and inclusive community, where people are no longer marginalized by racism and classism and have the means to live with dignity.

Real Change offers hope and opportunity to those who are economically marginalized and often have limited options for legitimate employment. We challenge the realities of structural homelessness by advocating for broad system change while we mobilize an extensive caring community in support of policy goals that are immediately achievable. 


Work and community give our lives meaning, and our vendors typically report that the friendships built while selling the paper are of deeper value that the actual money that they earn. Real Change is a caring community in action that creates many small changes — both in individual lives and on the system level — that can lead to the bigger changes that transform our lives and the world in which we live.

Real Change works to prevent and solve homelessness through three integrated programs:

The Vendor Program offers a low-barrier, self-employment opportunity to 700+ homeless and very low-income men and women annually that meets the vendors where they are. No ID is required. Vendors pay Real Change 60 cents per newspaper and resell the paper for the $2 cover price plus tips. Vendors begin selling the paper immediately after a sixty-minute orientation that includes agreement to the code of conduct, brief sales training, and an invitation to involvement in various program activities. Additional opportunities include advanced sales trainings and elected vendor leadership positions, and paid participation in the Homeless Speaker’s Bureau.

Real Change Newspaper is North America’s most successful street newspaper and won 16 first place awards for excellence in 2014 from the Washington Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. The newspaper is produced by four professional staff and dozens of volunteers, and is informed by a homeless and formerly homeless editorial committee that meets weekly to discuss and review content.

Real Change Advocacy leverages the relationships that exist between vendors and readers to build a cross-class movement for economic justice and build the political will to ensure that public policies benefit homeless and low-income people. In 2018, the Count Us In report showed 6,320 people living unsheltered. Real Change’s 2014 OutsideIN pressure campaign, which included public events, a petition campaign directed at key city and county officials, and vendor testimony at numerous budget hearings, was essential to bringing the shift in city policy reflected by the Mayor’s unsheltered task force and new city support for expanded survival solutions.

Real Change exists to provide opportunity and a voice for low-income and homeless people while taking action for economic, social and racial justice.

We envision a just, caring and inclusive community, where people are no longer…

Areas of Focus Include

  • Civic Engagement
  • Community Development
  • Housing & Homelessness
  • Media
  • Poverty

Location

  • 219 1st Ave S
    STE 220
    Seattle, WA 98104

Current listings by Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project

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