The end of the year has arrived. With it, we reflect on the people who make Real Change possible every day. People like you.
Please make a gift to our Winter Fund Drive by the end of Dec. 31. It takes all of us to build this special and caring community. Getting this paper in your hands week after week is a collective effort. Our critical goal of $200,000 will fund our ongoing work and lay a strong foundation for the year to come.
We ask for your support as we wrap up another difficult year. Inflation, housing costs and the lack of investment in services exacerbates the crisis of homelessness in our region.
We all feel it. We all see it — Real Change Editorial makes sure of that.
Staff Reporter Guy Oron and Associate Editor Tobias Coughlin-Bogue produce hard-hitting local journalism covering the issues that most impact our community and elevating perspectives left out of mainstream media.
Real Change vendors bring the paper straight to you, building a cross-class community where we all gain perspective on homelessness, inequity and hopeful solutions.
Donors like you make this magic possible.
Your gift today supports our advocacy journalism that works to change hearts and minds. It also powers low-barrier work for anybody who needs it.
That means no previous experience and no ID required. That accessibility makes a world of difference to hundreds of people experiencing homelessness and poverty.
For Sharon Sherpa, Real Change was the only work she could do after all her personal items, including her work authorization card, were stolen in Portland. That’s when she had her first experience of homelessness.
A former Nepali actress and beauty queen, Sharon immigrated to the United States 21 years ago, “brought by a broken heart and bullshit.”
Now in Seattle, she lives in a shelter with women she considers family. About a year and a half ago, she joined Real Change.
Everybody, regardless of housing or immigration status, deserves a job. At Real Change, job opportunities are flexible and build pathways to stability. We support one another, too: If a vendor struggles to find a selling location, other vendors are more than happy to help.
“Seniors who have done it for a long time, 10 years — I’m like, wow! They advise me, because I don’t know where to go. They tell me, ‘go here, sweetie,’ and it’s so nice,” Sherpa said.
While she hasn’t been here as long as some, Sherpa quickly became a part of the community, and it is easy to see why. Her laugh, independent nature and positivity are a delight. She just finished her fifth round of chemotherapy for colon cancer. Despite the fatigue, she is the party planner for the shelter Halloween party and is learning the ukulele to write a rock song.
“I’m just going to live my life, beat this cancer and be a rockstar,” she said.
Real Change’s doors are open for anybody at any time, regardless of where they’ve been or where they’re moving to.
Selling the newspaper brings Sherpa joy. She believes in journalism. She even inspired other women at her shelter to work for Real Change.
Customers like you, who purchase and read the paper, make this possible. Your donation ensures this opportunity is available for all who seek it.
Sherpa envisions taking the knowledge from her experiences with homelessness and shelters to open a community center for older people in Nepal, in honor of her mom.
“I want to give back to all the organizations that helped me,” she said. “This whole experience has been a blessing.”
With your gift this season, together we invest in the work and joy of hundreds of neighbors.
No one succeeds alone. Together, Real Change is possible.
As Sherpa says, “More laughter, more joy, more donations, please!”
Donate to the Real Change Winter Fund Drive by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31 at
http://tinyurl.com/RCWinterDrive. Our goal of $200,000 will help fund our critical programs and services.
Read more of the Nov. 2-8, 2022 issue.