YACHT Club Participates in Vendor for a Day

One Step Away, a project of the Philadelphia-based non-profit Resources for Human Development, is a Philadelphia street newspaper that produces the news most people do not get to hear. The stories in the One Step Away newspaper are written by homeless or jobless men and women, and are distributed by these same individuals on the streets of Philadelphia for a donation of one dollar, with a seventy-five cent profit for the vendor. One Step Away is meant to provide meaningful vocation for those who are often overlooked and marginalized by the dominant society; its articles are also meant “to raise awareness and advocacy for specific topics affecting the Philadelphia community, including homelessness, poverty, affordable housing, and other issues affecting vulnerable populations,” according to the One Step Away website.  

On Saturday, March 15th, Eastern’s YACHT (Youth Against Complacency and Homelessness Today) Club, under the direction of “YACHT Mama” Frances Greenlee, experienced what it is like to be a One Step Away vendor on the streets of Philadelphia through its advocacy program, “Vendor for a Day.” According to Greenlee, “Vendor for a Day entails exactly what the program claims in its name. [YACHT] brought 21 Eastern students into the city to experience for only 2 hours what those who are experiencing homelessness or joblessness experience daily.” Eastern students broke into four groups, and each was led into a different area of the city in order to sell the monthly edition of One Step Away. After two hours of trying to sell papers to men and women walking the streets, YACHT members got a small window into what it might feel like to be a vendor.

Greenlee says of the experience, “For most, if not all of the students it was a frustrating, humbling, exhausting, and most importantly, an eye-opening experience into the deep reality of systemic injustice”.

For more information about One Step Away and its Vendor for a Day program, visit its website at osaphilly.com.



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