Org Focus Friday: Real Change

Real Change exists to provide opportunity and a voice for low-income and homeless people while taking action for economic, social and racial justice. Real Change vendors find meaningful, low-barrier work selling the award-winning weekly newspaper. 

The Vendor Center at Real Change in Pioneer Square is a welcoming community space. Low-barrier work means meeting people where they are. Anyone can come into the Vendor Center, attend a brief orientation, and begin earning an income selling the award-winning newspaper.  Real Change offers computers, phones and mailboxes to keep people connected. A full time Case Manager supports people in meeting their personal and professional goals. Real Change regularly hosts a mobile medical clinic, veterinary clinic, classes and trainings, and events. 

As we move into Phase 2, Real Change vendors are back out there selling the newspaper! In addition to the weekly paper, you can also purchase $3 Real Hand Sanitizer mini bottles from your vendor. Throughout Phase 1 in King County, newspaper sales were halted to help flatten the curve and keep our community members safe.  Real Change offers cash and gift cards, grocery delivery, and weekly check-in calls to respond to changing needs during the pandemic. As paper sales reopen, we’re keeping folx safe with new plexiglass barriers around work stations, handing out masks and hands sanitizer, requiring social distancing, limiting numbers of people in the Vendor Center and office. 

The Seattle Street Sink Project removes barriers to recommended public health interventions by installing sinks outside of supporting organizations around Seattle. Real Change worked directly with incredibly dedicated and resourceful UW Architect and Landscape Professors to develop a sink prototype to address the need for hygiene services during COVID. The first sink was installed last month at ROOTS Young Adult Shelter in the University District. Our second sink was installed at University Heights. We have a second model that is ADA compliant and kid friendly. We are excited to replicate this model throughout the City and bring it before the City Council during the 2021 budget session.  

The Seattle Street Sinks project uses off-the-shelf parts that can connect to a hose on private or public property. The setup drains into a trough of plants so that the water isn’t wasted. The sinks are one new way to open much-needed hand-washing stations throughout the city.

The Society of Professional Journalists announced 2019 NW Excellence in Journalism Awards, and Real Change is proud of the achievements from our newsroom. Staff Reporter Ashley Archibald won first place for Feature Writing, Hard News. for her compelling story “Homeless outreach program REACH asks to change its relationship with the city’s Navigation Team”. Ashley’s moving piece “Life, Death, and Dignity” was the runner up in the Running Series category. Wes Sauer was the runner up in the Photo Essay category, for his intimate images for Ashley’s story. Art Director Jon Williams received second place for Graphics and Illustration, and former Features Reporter Lisa Edge was runner up for Feature Writing, Soft News.  

We are as strong as our community! Join as a volunteer, support our programs with a donation of any size, or help spread the word about Real Change. Individual, grassroots donors are vital for powering our programs. Volunteers serve in every department at Real Change, and we’re so grateful for their support! Like and share our posts @RealChangeNews on Instagram, Twitter, FB, and LinkedIN. Visit RealChangeNews.org for more information or to get involved.



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