Harnessing the power of caring community to offer opportunities for self-help to those in need.
A magazine that makes a difference
Dignity City is a monthly news magazine that will soon be sold on the streets of Tacoma and Olympia by homeless sellers. With your support, those who need immediate, flexible work will have a new and dignified means to improve their lives.
The vision for Dignity City is nothing if not ambitious: create a regional street paper to support a regional approach to ending homelessness. Nurture the local partnerships that can support Dignity City vendors in communities across Washington state. Keep it simple. Keep it real.
How it works
Vendors purchase the magazine at cost and sell it for the two-dollar cover price, often receiving an additional tip. No ID or work history is required to start. New vendors receive a badge and ten free starter papers and begin work immediately. Vendors are self-employed, and purchase their product at cost to sell for the cover price plus tips.
Over time, relationships between vendors and customers develop into a transformational community that helps vendors to feel respected and valued while they earn the money they need. Dignity City engages a caring community to provide a hand up, not a hand out.
Building bridges in troubled times
Dignity City cultivates community relationships that support vendor success. This means nurturing relationships with elected officials, service providers, churches, property owners and the business community. We will build bridges of empathy and respect in both “red” and “blue” counties while providing forums where homeless people can speak for themselves.
The focus is on solutions: provide economic opportunity for those in need, build grassroots community engagement, and ensure that people who struggle for survival are both seen and heard.
Dignity City Start-up Staff
Executive Director Timothy Harris
Tim has been a respected leader in the North American and international street paper movements for more than thirty years and founded Seattle’s highly successful Real Change street paper in 1994. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) since 2015.
Editor and Art Director Jon Williams
Jon has worked in the news industry in a variety of editorial, photography, graphics and design roles. Previous publications include The Rocky Mountain News, The Sacramento Bee, and The Kitsap Sun. Jon was the Art Director at Real Change from 2011-2020, where he won numerous awards for photography and page design.
Meet the Board of Directors
Sara is a professor at Seattle University School of Law. She founded the Homeless Rights Advocacy Project (HRAP), a research, education, and advocacy program to advance the civil, constitutional, and human rights of homeless people. HRAP examines and reports on laws that unfairly target the visible poor.
Bruce Wirth (Secretary
Bruce is the chief fundraiser at C89.5 educational radio in Seatle. He has been News Director and Program Director of KBCS radio in Bellevue, and the General Manager of KSER community radio in Everett. Bruce was a member of the original Real Change board of directors.
Donald has been a successful Real Change vendor since 2000 and can be found most days at Ballard Market. He has worked in Real Change vendor support, helping new vendors find hope and success by sharing his experiences with homelessness, recovery, and trauma management.
Rex is a life-long architect and founder of the nonprofit Facing Homelessness. With his daughter he founded The Block Project, a community driven housing program for the homeless. Rex continues his work of humanizing those who experience homelessness through You Know Me Now, an online story-telling project.