Through the years Real Change has committed to:
Organize, educate, and build alliances to find community-based solutions to homelessness and poverty.
Create opportunity and a voice for low-income people while taking action to end poverty and homelessness
Provide opportunity and a voice for low-income and homeless people while taking action for economic justice.
Bootstrap Beginnings 1994 – 1998
1994 / $23K RC Starts up in CAN space at 2129 2nd Ave. Vol 1, No 1 publishes Aug 20, 10,000 copies Pike Market Senior Center is 501(c)3 sponsor Start-up financed by 52 ads totaling $3,200 50 regular vendors by end of year
1995 / $70K Monthly vendor meetings draw 30-50 people We take on StreetLife Art Gallery Homeless Speakers Bureau launched Monthly print run typically 15,000 copies First grant from Glaser Foundation
1996 / $100K RC leaves Senior Center New board applies for 501(c)3. Is rejected Anitra Freeman launches StreetWrites Volunteer ozula sioux hired for vendor desk No Apologies poetry chapbook published
1997 / $109K RC re-applies and gets 501(c)3 Twice-monthly publication begins, fails First editor hired as third staff Hosts NASNA conference, Tim elected Chair
Dr. Wes Browning, reads during a performance of the Street Rights Bedless Bards at the Nippon Kan Theater in 1997. Author and Real Change Advisory Committee member Sherman Alexie, center, also performed with the group. For photo, click here
1998 / $121K 600 Club started, circ. Exceeds 20,000/mo. Jon Gould becomes Board President RC teams with WHEEL to picket Nordstrom StreetLife Gallery remodel
Growing Up & Organizing
1999 / $224K Bi-monthly publication and redesign Bob Kubiniec hired as Assoc. Director Computer lab launched for vendors First Things First campaign launched 125 vendors a month reached
2000 / $214K 100th issue published Walt Crowley hosts first house party FTF organizing wins 3.5M for homeless David Bloom hired as faith organizer First production staff hired
2001 / $267K Ron Sims declares Real Change Day Two issues added with bi-weekly publication RC’s Initiative 71 wins big shelter increase First Development Dir. And Office Mgr. hired Gates computer lab grant/Allen capacity grant
2002 / $424K We take over entire 2129 space and remodel Rachael Myers hired as Advocacy Director 3-day staff retreat on San Juan Island Circulation reached 35,000 monthly
2003 / $345K First strategic plan and business plan StreeLife Gallery and computer lab close Wongdoody Change Perspective marketing Real Change TV begins on SCAN
2004 / $433K Sherman Alexie keynotes 10th Anniv. Breakfast Newspaper redesigned by Wongdoody Rebrand as an activist community newspaper Vendor services staff expanded 230 vendors a month reached
2005 / $535K Weekly publication boosts circ. to 10K/wk Two journalists added to staff Seattle Weekly: Best Grassroots Media Municipal League: Organization of the year
2006 / $534K Downtown for All wins housing money Tim brokers NASNA and INSP unification RC marches in Gay Pride parade First journalism awards from SPJ
Rage & Crisis Years
2007 / $559K Condo boom spurs homeless sweeps Real Change Organizing Project launched Cross-class staff/vendor retreat held Anti-bias process initiated 290 vendors a month reached
2008 / $631K RC goes to war over encampment sweeps Vendors increase to 350 a month Capacity issues seriously challenge staff Jail Initiative Campaign
2009 / $744K Alan Preston joins staff as Ops. Director We exceed 400 vendors a month Rosette Royale wins Sigma Delta Chi award Surviving the Streets launches Grassroots support grows by 39%
2010 / $827K Real Change moves to Pioneer Square 867,000 papers sold RC defeats panhandling ordinance Wins 2010 Human Rights award
Stability & Growth
2011 / $843K
2012 / $958K
2012 – 2014 Strategic Plan prioritizes regional expansion, cross-class grassroots advocacy and organizational stability
2013 / $1.09M Winner of 11 first-place awards from the Washington Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the North American Street Newspaper Association this year.
2014 / $1.13M The 2013 winner of 16 first-place journalism awards.
Addendum to article: Real Change turns twenty Click here for main story