After 25 years of publication, Real Change remains unique among Seattle newspapers.
Not just because we’re the largest independent weekly newspaper still standing. Or because — unlike most print publications — our circulation and readership are still growing.
Our continued relevance comes down to this: At a time when the public dialogue on homelessness has gone more than a little toxic, Real Change is a place where people like Zack Tutwiler — who have struggled all their lives — can find acceptance and community.
Where their voices are heard, their struggles honored and their leadership valued.
Your support of Real Change funds journalism that matters, and means that people like Zack have the support they need to be their best selves.
To say that Zack’s life has been hard doesn’t do his story justice.
As a baby, Zack suffered a traumatic brain injury that led to a life of struggle. His parents didn’t want him, and he was passed from relative to relative throughout his childhood.
Zack started running when he went into foster care at 12. In and out of jail four times between 1998 and 2007, he’s spent much of his life as an outsider.
All that’s changed now. Real Change has helped Zack find a place to belong.
“I had to get used to people caring about me,” he remembered. “It was a different kind of love — from folks that I’ve never met.”
“I’ve learned who are my friends and are not. That was the real struggle for me.”
More than 300 vendors each month find opportunity, a voice and the means to change their lives because of your support.
Through Real Change, Zack is making a difference, both in our city and for himself. “I’ve testified at City Hall. I’ve met the mayor. I’ve gone from being a bad boy to a normal life.”
More recently, he has also joined our Editorial Committee, where his experience informs our professional news team. Our reporting takes the story of race and class from the margins to the center, and offers people like Zack the respect they deserve.
Zack also served on the Vendor Advisory Board, a place where leaders like him guide our work and help others grow.
“I’ve found my power within Real Change. What I’ve come to learn through all the people I’ve met here is that a positive mindset will always accomplish success.”
Zack has been in housing for more than three years now, and is surrounded with the help and support he needs to stay whole.
“I’ve got a strong team here that believes in me like I believe in them.”
That team looks like a vendor support staff that is committed to Zack’s success. It looks like a news team with more than 60 collective years of journalism experience. It looks like an advocacy department that helps our vendors speak truth to power.
At a time when an increasingly polarized environment has meant unprecedented hostility toward homeless people, your support matters more than ever.
For this drive, we have a goal of raising $100,000. Every day, your gift helps us foster leadership skills and growth in vendors like Zack.
Thank you for giving at any level that works for you. Together, we are making Seattle a kinder, more caring city.
Tim Harris is the Founding Director Real Change and has been active as a poor people’s organizer for more than two decades. Prior to moving to Seattle in 1994, Harris founded street newspaper Spare Change in Boston while working as Executive Director of Boston Jobs with Peace.
Read the full May 15 - 21 issue.
We have removed the comment section from our website. Here's why.
© 2019 Real Change. All rights reserved.| Real Change is a non-profit organization advocating for economic, social and racial justice. Since 1994 our award-winning weekly newspaper has provided an immediate employment opportunity for people who are homeless and low income. Learn more about Real Change and donate now to support independent, award-winning journalism.