Vendor Profile: Reginald Black
If there is one thing that Reggie
wants you to know about him, it's this: he
is just like you.
Ever since, Reggie
has worn many hats for Street Sense
He has written poetry and prose for the paper, served as a reporter and page-designer, helped with fundraising efforts and supported his fellow vendor's writing through his work with the Writer's Group.
But above all roles, Reggie's first calls himself an advocate for the homeless.
As someone currently experiencing homelessness himself, he
knows first-hand what it is like to be homeless in Washington, a city where an estimated fifth of residents live in poverty.
"There is so much money and policy going around that no one worries about the faces.
They walk right by."
Beyond selling the paper, Reggie says his work with Street Sense has given him the opportunity to explore his wider interests and talents.
enjoys the challenge of reporting on various news events and working with a computer design program to lay out the finished stories as newspaper pages.
"I like that I can be an amateur journalist while improving aspects of my life," says Reggie
"Yeah, I may be homeless, but I have so much to offer."
is a native Washingtonian.
own situation "a case that you want to put into a box but you can't find one that fits".
mother passed away when he
was seven, and his
father in 2011.
doesn't know where the rest of his
family is but wishes to be in contact with them.
In spite of the difficulties he
experiences help him advocate for others who lack the supportive presence of a family.
"There are many cases like mine that too often get swept under the rug," Reggie
believes, is not one person's problem; it is a problem that belongs to the community as a whole.
believes that the best way to end homelessness is with a comprehensive strategy that assigns everyone a role.
The community needs to be open and informed about issues surrounding poverty, he
"You can't beat homelessness with a closed mind or a closed heart," says Reggie
has big dreams for his
would like to start an organization similar to Street Sense
that focuses predominantly on the arts.