Over a decade ago, Robert Hansen began selling Real Change. Since then, his friendliness and people skills have made him consistently one of Real Change’s top vendors and eventually led to a promotion to vendor representative.
A native of the Rainier Valley, Robert has been selling papers in the Seattle area since the 1980s. Now, Robert sells Real Change at the Seward Park PCC. As vendor representative, Robert acted as a liaison between customers and Real Change, and worked to expand the paper’s distribution in the Seattle area.
In addition to a job, Real Change has helped turn Hansen into an outspoken advocate for the homeless and low-income families. As a social activist, Robert has pressured state government to increase affordable housing. It has been an uphill battle, he says, in a boom-town like Seattle. His knowledge of selling papers and his broad experience with social advocacy have led to interviews with the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the New York Times.
But it’s not about the press, nor is it, says Robert, “about the money.” What is it all about then? For Robert, it’s about spreading awareness of issues facing the homeless—or, as he puts it, “human dignity.”
The next time you see Robert, or any Real Change vendor, take his advice and say, “Keep up the good work.”