I don't know if its Jesse's efforts as the new vendor manager or the anticipation of more income that comes with going semi-monthly or if its just the excitement of the holiday season, but we have had a swarm of new vendors in the last week. And not only are they willing to give Street Sense a shot but they are also very excited about the paper and the opportunity to sell and spread the word.
Last Thursday we trained three new vendors, which is a record in one day for probably the last year. And two of them have already come back enough times to get their permanent badge. One vendor Michael Higgs, sold 40 of the super-old issue in one day (he was accidentally given the October issue in the midst of confusion on Thursday) and when the new issue came out he immediately bought 60 papers without hesitation, explaining that "Its hard work but people love it!"
Another one, Kevin Singleton, came in Monday all excited about the paper and was really taken a back by how people responded to it and how the respected him for selling it. And a new woman vendor, Louise Davenport came in all wide-eyed about the prospect of selling Street Sense in Virginia.
And then there are the old/new vendors (those who have not been vendors in over six months, but have decided to return for one reason or another) that include Anthony Crawford, Willie Alexander and Henry Washington. And all of them are selling papers like mad men.
And its great because these new vendors are spreading their excitement to other homeless individuals and encouraging them to become vendors as well, so it really just a domino effect. Its funny because many new vendors lately say that they have heard of Street Sense for sometime but are suddenly coming to be trained. I cannot pinpoint the draw, but I am sure its a convergence of many things at this very generous time of the year.
So while these new men and women may not have yet earned their vest (it takes at least three weeks for that) please so them the respect and courtesy as old vendors.
And don't get me wrong,its great that we have many established vendors who have been with us for two or even three years, that provide much incite and excitement to Street Sense, but like anything, its always good to mix it up a bit with changes and additions, LAURA