Street Sense is a tabloid newspaper that has been sold biweekly by the District of Columbia's homeless residents for the past 12 years. The publication's focus is on homelessness and related issues confronting the poor. DC has one the highest rates of homelessness in the country with over 2,000 individuals and families sleeping on the streets on any given night, a quarter of whom are veterans. Unemployment, obviously a major cause of the problem, is 7.8 percent in the nation's capital or one and a half times the national average. For DC's African Americans unemployment is 10 percent. Nearly 20 percent of DC's residents live in poverty. Beyond homelessness, Street Sense vendors typically face a long list of health issues. Recently however a city inter-agency council on homelessness unanimously endorsed a plan, that DC's new mayor supports, to end homelessness over the next five years.
During this 18 minute discussion Brian Carome discusses the purpose and success of Street Sense to date, it's vendors, the health and social issues they confront and his outlook for finally solving DC's homelessness problem.
Brian Carome has served as Executive Director of Street Sense since 2011. Previously he was Executive Director at Housing Opportunities for Women, Project Northstar and A-SPAN. He has also worked at new Hope Housing, Sasha Bruce Youthwork, the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and the Father McKenna Center. He has lectured on homelessness and at risk populations at the Catholic University of America's School of Social Service and Georgetown University Law School. Brian was graduated from Boston College with a BA and earned an Executive Certificate form the Georgetown University's Center for Public and Non-Profit Leadership.
To learn more about Street Sense go to streetsense.org.