Debra White draws on her experience in the business world to build relationships with her downtown customers.
White has enjoyed selling papers at the corner of 2nd and Jackson for the past year. She says being personable and relating to the people that she sells to has helped her become a top vendor.
“I was in corporate America a long time,” she says. “I worked nine to five a long time. I know a lot of the struggles and I’m used to the kind of people I sell to; they’re people I’m used to being around.”
White, a Texas native, stays in homeless shelters, but harbors a dream to live on a boat. She says she is currently looking at plans to build a small craft and saves $30 each week if she has it.
“I’ll just drop anchor and come in only to sell Real Change,” she says. “That would give me some stability and a chance to get away.”
Selling Real Change isn’t all about money for White; it’s about spreading a message.
“When I’m out there selling I’m not there for the money and I’m not there for people to pity me,” she says. “I care about what Real Change is doing, I will give the paper away if it helps people understand the things that are going on.”