New Street Paper In OKC Helps Homeless

Friday, July 5th 2013, 5:25 pm

Extra! Extra! A new street paper has just hit the streets this week in Oklahoma City. The paper is called the Curbside Chronicle and it's filled with features on new restaurants, local attractions, as well as inspiring articles.

The difference from other papers is who is profiting from it. Just days into the job, Lanitra Owens is already one of the Curbside Chronicle's star sellers.

"Yesterday I was at Harkins. I made $105 dollars in like three hours," she told News 9 on Friday.

It's not easy work, but Lanitra calls it a blessing.

"I've been homeless for three years," she said.

All of the paper's vendors are homeless. They buy the Chronicle for 75 cents, sell them for $2 dollars and keep the profit.

"It's a legitimate source of income," said the Chronicle's executive directive Whitley O'Connor. "Something they can actually make a living off of."

The chronicle is the brainchild O'Connor, a Vanderbilt College student from Ada, Okla. Inspired by a similar paper in Nashville he started the Chronicle in OKC as an internship. He and other volunteer journalists write some of the articles. Others are written by the homeless.

"Kind of like cool interest stories that we think people will be interested in, but have this kind of social spin," explains O'Connor  

It is meant to take readers beyond the headlines of homelessness, and help them help themselves.

"There are people who are trying to help me get off the street. I just have to be willing to apply my abilities to try and make it happen," said Lanitra.

The Chronicle has to pay $1 for the paper to get it printed. It makes up the quarter difference in advertising. O'Connor says they will break even this month.